It's a whole lot of fun, but more than just play....

Mission Statement
We are an Adventure Recreation & Equestrian team dedicated to delivering fun, safe and kinetic experiences to the youth we serve. We believe in challenge and play. We believe by reconnecting to the fundamentals of childhood, we can provide an outlet for growth, healing, success and reconciliation.

Program Philosophy
The Adventure Recreation and Equestrian Program promote acceptance and choice, while interlacing all we do within New Directions’ Normative Culture including the four-norms of safety, respect, responsibility & goal directed living.

As facilitators, we understand that growth takes place when we are safely challenged beyond our perceived limits. The transfer of peak experiences into daily life is where the opportunity to play becomes transformed into sustained healing and interpersonal learning.

Whether we are kayaking, horseback riding, playing basketball, volunteering or making a chalk mural, we find success in our program through the small moments of self-discovery, laughter and the calm in experiential processes.

Fostering Play
New Directions fosters two Adventure Recreation Departments located on the Randolph & Wyndham Residential Campuses. Our departments provide 7 days a week, year round activities to residential youth and customized programming for our non-residential clients. Such custom programs include High & Low Challenge Courses, Horseback Riding Lessons, Cross Country Skiing, Mommy & Me Swim Lessons.etc.

Program Descriptions

Adventure Recreation Program Description +
We provide a wide range of activities that are rooted in safety, healing and fun. By offering a balance of activities, we provide youth with the opportunity to participate in art & music, traditional sports, adventure sports & community centered involvement. Between our two campuses we have an indoor & outdoor pool, indoor & outdoor basketball courts, hiking trails, two High & Low Challenge Courses, two fleets of sea kayaks, cross country skis & snowshoes, mountain bikes, indoor rock wall, 4-season Yurt, bonfire areas, two weight rooms, entertainment/game rooms and designated recreation areas for all types of programming.

The intention of all the activities we do is to provide an outlet for release and fulfillment. Some of our regularly offered programs include:

Traditional Sports: basketball, baseball, soccer, kickball, handball, volleyball, weight training, swimming, yoga & general fitness.

Adventure Sports: mountain biking, road biking, high & low ropes courses, rock climbing, alpine skiing, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, kayaking, camping, geocaching, outdoor living skill & trail walking.

Arts & Culture: coloring, poetry, creative writing, jewelry making, movie & book clubs, gardening, cooking & ceramics

Community Events: attending speakers, collegiate sporting events, volunteering

Special Events & Celebrations: Randolph Fall Fest & Horse Show, Wyndham’s Summer Spectacular
Equestrian Program Description +
The Equestrian Program is a service of the Randolph Children’s Home Adventure Recreation Department. The Randolph Children’s Home, owing to its agricultural past, shares a 125 year
heritage of close association between youth and animals. With an indoor and outdoor riding arena, our youth are able to ride nearly 12 months out of the year. The program’s location provides a perfect backdrop for trail rides, nestled in the foothills of the Allegany Mountains of Western New York.

Between our 8 horses, miniature donkey and friendly barn cats, the Equestrian Program provides an avenue for change and reconciliation that may not readily be accessed by traditional therapy. The relationship that ensues between the horse, the youth and the staff is central to the change process. Nearly all youth who spend time at the barn, whether they ride, groom or just visit, learn from the animals a mutual relationship of trust and respect.

Various opportunities for youth involvement are provided, ranging from horse care & companionship, recreational trail riding, and exhibition riding. The respect required by our horses in order to care for them provides numerous “challenge by choice” experiences, which can be used as strengths in the overall healing & treatment process.

Program Safety

The Equestrian Program recognizes the importance of ensuring that horses used in the program are safe and healthy. The Equestrian Program maintains accreditation through the Certified Horseman Association (C.H.A.) and the Association of Experiential Education (A.E.E.). Both accreditation bodies ensure competent staff instruction and readiness of youth participation and appropriate horse selection.
Further on-going processes which ensure safety and met best practices includes, but is not limited to evaluation of: general horse health and condition, ground handling, including cross-tying, grooming, tacking, stall manners, approachability, ring work and trail work.

For general care of our horses, there is a weight limit of riders.
The Yurt Experience +
In 2012 the Adventure Recreation Department at the Randolph Children’s Home was awarded a $10,000 grant from the F.T. and Anna C. Manley Memorial Trust in order to plan and purchase a“safe space” to play and retreat to in the woods. We graciously accepted our award and built a 4-season Yurt within our wooded 100 acre campus.

After months of planning, the Adventure Recreation department headed to West Virginia to pick up the Yurt with our youth. We stopped along the way to for a guided white-water rafting trip and camping. A week later with we returned back to campus with a 24-foot diameter circular canvas & trellis structure ready to for setup on top of a custom build deck overlooking to Allegany foothills.

If you come to visit or stay with us, the yurt is a must see on your tour.
Program Certifications & Training +
Association of Experiential Education: AEE

Since 1999 the Adventure Recreation and Equestrian program has voluntarily sought accreditation by the Association for Experiential Education.
Recent re-accreditation occurred in 2016. Attaining accredited status through AEE stands as evidence of our organization’s commitment to quality and safety, belief in professional standards, and allocation of resources to exceed recognized industry standards.

Certified Horsemanship Association: CHA

Our Equestrian staff have a Level II riding instructor/trail guide certification. Through CHA, our staff have the knowledge of horsemanship theory and riding skills, beyond the level at which they teach to, observing students during lessons, effectively communicating instruction and providing physical assistance when necessary.

High 5 Adventure Learning

New Directions has two High & Low Ropes Challenge Courses. Our courses and equipment are inspected and approved for continued use by URCB. All facilitators are trained in Low Ropes Leadership Skills as well as ranked in their High Ropes Technical Skills including the assessment of belaying, course access, set-up and rescues.

American Canoe Association (ACA) or British Canoe Union (BCU):

Each kayaking trip is lead by a ACA or BCU trained staff who have demonstrated competence in trip leading, safety education, rescues, and beginner level paddling instruction.

Wilderness Medicine Associations (WMA) trained Wilderness First Responder (WFR):

All trips that take place in remote areas are lead by a department staff who is trained by Wilderness Medicine Associations as a Wilderness First Responder (WFR). The WMA WFR curriculum is comprehensive and practical. It includes the essential principles and skills required to assess and manage medical problems in isolated and extreme environments for days and weeks if necessary.

Council on Accreditation: COA

Our 4 year accreditation cycle signifies that New Directions commitment to deliver quality services, positive outcomes, that are delivered in a family centered, safe and respectful environment.

Our Team +
Meaghan Barone Toft, 7 years of service
LCSW, Adventure Recreation Director

Meaghan has held play and learning near to her since early childhood canoe trips to Algonquin Provincial Park, a 30-day Outward Bound in high school, and living abroad in Finland as an exchange student. Her formal debut into the experiential field of learning and play began at SUNY Fredonia where Meaghan began actualizing how to make work into play, and play into learning. Meaghan transferred to SUNY Plattsburgh to study under the Expeditionary Studies Program in order to complete a self-designed major titled: Individualized Studies in Experiential Learning. Meaghan’s bachelor’s wove together coursework in psychology, leadership, gender, environmental & politics studies, a NOLS Alaska Outdoor Leader Course and Expeditionary Studies in rock climbing, watersports, snow & backcountry travel. Meaghan then went on to spend 8 years traveling and living abroad in multiple countries, to return to Buffalo to complete her Masters in Social Work at the University of Buffalo.

Amanda Booth, 17 years of service
Equestrian Supervisor, Randolph Children’s Home
CHA Level II Instructor

Casey Daunce, 9 years of service,
Adventure Recreation Supervisor, Wyndham Lawn Home for Children
ACA Trip Leader, Challenge Course Manager

Zachary Garber, 4 years of service
Adventure Recreation Supervisor, Randolph Children’s Home
WFR, ACA Trip Leader, Challenge Course Manager