Benchmark SOAR™

Sober Outdoor Adventure Recreation® Field Guide and Curriculum

Outdoor activities can improve your well-being. Nature-based recreation groups have the strong potential to improve mental health outcomes in areas of general well-being, resilience, restoration, and cognition, with some potential for decreasing symptoms of anxiety, stress, and depression.
Recreational therapy is defined as “a treatment service designed to restore, remediate and rehabilitate a person’s level of functioning and independence in life activities, to promote health and wellness as well as reduce or eliminate the activity limitations and restriction to participation in life situations caused by an illness or disabling condition” (American Therapeutic Recreation Association [ATRA], 2009).
Benchmark Transitions uses a variety of educational, behavioral, recreational, and activity-oriented strategies with clients to enhance functional performance and improve positive lifestyle behaviors designed to increase independence, effective community participation, and well-being.

The SOAR program is Benchmark’s outdoor recreation activities program, designed to help engage young adults in their treatment, with the practice of outdoor activities.


Weekly meetings
Friday, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Participation in class activities, expedition activities and therapeutic activities
Adherence to local and regional standards set by San Bernardino Forest Service


Knowledge and awareness of the outdoors
Basic fundamentals of outdoor activities
Understanding of curriculum presented
Enjoyment of outdoor adventure activities


Steps to check for student understanding

Weekly classroom participation
Weekly expedition participation
Weekly assessment of classroom and expedition participation
Participation in therapeutic process group exercise
Assessment of weekly expedition behavior


Sierra Nevada University, Outdoor Adventure Leadership (ODAL)
National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS)
AIM Adventure – online program
Developed for Benchmark Transitions By Cory Skaggs

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