Underwriting provided by:
The Laura Moore Cunningham
Foundation

Producer's Notes: What's in a name?

Casting for Recovery participant Trina Murri with a quilt piece she made
Casting for Recovery participant Trina Murri with a quilt piece she made

All our Outdoor Idaho programs have a working title while we're producing them. Some of those titles end up becoming the formal name of the program; others are changed as the program's theme evolves. Whatever title we choose, though, it generally isn't more than three words, so that it can fit easily onto a schedule grid and not be cut off. So it's a bit of a challenge to come up with a good one.

The working title for my latest contribution to the series was "Healing and the Outdoors." I was never particularly attached to it, in part because "healing" connotes medicinal herbs to some people, and also because several individuals in the program had passed away, so they weren't "healed" in the traditional sense.

I asked my coworkers for suggestions for different names, and got some really nice ones, including "Prescription: Nature," "Nurtured by Nature," and "Finding Strength."

Ultimately, though, I circled back to the "healing" concept, not only because it seemed to resonate with several of my colleagues, but also because several of my interviewees had used that word to describe their experience.

Reel Recovery Participant Marc Foss with his fishing buddy Mark Stevens [Credit: Marc Walters/Reel Recovery]
Reel Recovery Participant Marc Foss with his fishing buddy Mark Stevens
[Credit: Marc Walters/Reel Recovery]

Indeed, "healing" can involve many other aspects of one's life other than just the physical. We can feel healed emotionally and spiritually by being in the outdoors, and that's what they were saying. So the program's title ended up being "Nature's Healing Power," and I think it fits.

It wasn't an easy program to produce because of the subject matter: I was asking people with serious illnesses and injuries to talk with me about their experiences. I also knew that several might not be alive to see the program, which indeed is the case, and that I wouldn't be able to put everyone in the show, always a tough issue for a producer. But it's particularly difficult when you know that the severely ill participants and their families might want a record of the experience.

Higher Ground Sun Valley participants paddleboarding and kayaking on Pettit Lake
Higher Ground Sun Valley participants paddleboarding and kayaking on Pettit Lake

But putting together the program was also rewarding. I met some wonderful individuals along the way in the groups I profiled: Higher Ground Sun Valley, Reel Recovery, Casting for Recovery and River Discovery. I was inspired by the participants, who were all upbeat, despite their challenges. And I was moved by the volunteers for these nonprofits, who do so much for their clients to make sure that their experience is one they will be remember. For some, it will be their last major outdoor adventure.

I hope you find the program uplifting and even healing for you as well.