The MVOC offers internal programs and has established collaborations with some excellent external organizations in order to provide meaningful therapeutic programs and activities for veterans. The intent is to allow for diverse opportunities that may meet a variety of interests as such to engage veterans in experiences that provide an outlet for therapeutic healing and also foster personal growth, self-confidence, and social interaction.
Our wellness programs include:
The Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing program provides basic fly fishing, fly casting, fly tying and rod building classes, along with clinics participants ranging from beginners who have never fished before, to those with prior fly fishing and tying experience who are adapting their skills to their new abilities. All fly fishing and tying equipment is provided to qualified veteran participants at no cost. Fishing trips, both one day and multi-day, are also provided free of charge to veteran participants. Combined with the efforts of the local chapter of Trout Unlimited. this flag-bearer activity provides outstanding opportunities to experience the tranquility of the outdoors and see wildlife conservation in action.
The goal of the VAST program is to promote lifelong health and well-being of veterans with disabilities through regular participation in a VAST array of physical activities and sports. Some sports include Nordic skiing, cycling, archery, hiking, fishing, orienteering, wheelchair basketball, and more. Any and all veterans are encouraged to volunteer and enjoy some outdoor activities and a sense of camaraderie with fellow veterans. VAST is associated with Pineland Farms, Inc. of New Gloucester, ME.
MVOC works with Northeast Passage as another valued resource for activities that strive to create an open and welcoming environment for Veterans in all of their programs. Veterans from all eras and with any disability are encouraged to participate in these program activities. All options are provided at NO COST to Veterans & Members of the Armed Forces through a grant from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. Northeast Passage is a program of the University of New Hampshire, College of Health & Human Services, Department of Recreation Management & Policy.
Forward Strides provides opportunities for veterans to become experienced in many aspects of horsemanship that include riding, grooming, and overall equestrian exposure and equipment maintenance.
Drum workshop and Monthly Drum Circle
This activity started last year as a drum building workshop by expert drum-maker, Stan “the Drum Man” Secrest. Now it is a monthly MVOC event that provides an element of rhythmic community within a musical interest that many find to be both spiritual and healing. This activity is facilitated and led by staff counselor, Michael Young and is open to all interested participants. The MVOC also has some drums available for use during the circle session so no equipment or experience is necessary to join.
Peak Paddlesports @ The Boathouse!
The MVOC began working with Peak Expeditions, LLC last summer to offer veterans dynamic and fun canoe and kayak experiences in the Pioneer Valley and Central Massachusetts. These trips are under consult by highly-certified wilderness guides and seasoned racing professionals who cater to the novice, non-swimmer, and expert alike.
Peak Paddlesports has soul. Come and explore the positive attributes of paddling and the fascinating natural and cultural history of the Millers River.
Healthy Eating and Cooking Class
This activity is both very popular and practical too. Working with dieticians and nutritionists from Heywood Hospital, MVOC veterans are exposed to a variety of healthy eating options that include nutritional information and hands-on food preparation and cooking skills. Residents in the MVOC housing programs also have learned to grow fresh vegetables and herbs that often become ingredients in the featured meals during the class.
Alcoholics Anonymous is an international fellowship of men and women who have had a drinking problem. It is nonprofessional, self-supporting, multiracial, apolitical, and available almost everywhere. There are no age or education requirements. Membership is open to anyone who wants to do something about his or her drinking problem. MVOC is a host site for AA meetings and can help you to find other AA resources. Of course the MVOC meeting is primarily reserved for veterans however anyone can attend.