Welcome to Michigan's American Legion Wilwin at Cygnet Cove!
A premiere veteran's sanctuary for rehabilitation, reconnect, recovery and renewal
THERAPEUTIC AND RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES
Wilwin provides a wide range of therapeutic and recreational activities that are offered to our guests for peace of mind and to enhance their sense of well-being. Wilwin does not provide stringent requirements as we provide more of a relaxed atmosphere and the individual veteran can do what works best for him or her.
Equine therapy is provided through psychologists and other medical personnel who treat PTSD and TBI patients, when prescribed. The doctor observes the interaction of the horse as it relates to the patient and makes his or her own diagnosis and/or conclusion.
Sheryl Mankel, a Nationally Certified Practitioner for equestrian therapy lives close to the Wilwin and boards her horses nearby. Wilwin has a horse corral for these horses when they are on property. Canine therapy is also available, if required by medical personnel.
Cooking can be a meditative and soothing activity that requires focus and presence. It unites people and fosters a sense of fellowship and teamwork. Those veterans that stay at Wilwin on their own are encouraged to make their own meals as a group and share in their culinary experiences.
Fishing is a calming, relaxing and fun activity offered right on campus at our 65 acre private Woodruff Lake. Fishing can be used as a solitary endeavor for the veterans to reflect on their life and problems in a peaceful and natural setting. It helps develop patience and aids in relieving stress on the mind and body. Families that reconnect at Wilwin find fishing a great way to reconnect with their family. A pontoon boat is available at the dock to any veteran wishing to fish. Bass, perch, crappie and northern pike are common fish in the lake. A commercial style fish cleaning station is available to those who wish to keep their fish. Catch and release is encouraged except for northern pike.
KAYAKING, CANOEING, AND RAFTING
Besides fishing, Woodruff Lake is a place for our veterans to kayak, canoe or raft for relaxation and peacefulness. It gives the veteran a chance to clear their minds and engage in the experience of nature. Wildlife abounds on the lake shore, eagle soar in the air above and deer come down to the shore to drink. The solitude of the lake relieves the veteran of stress by observing the nature around him or her.
On the other hand, Wilwin is within a few miles of the nationally recognized Pere Marquette River. Rafting, Kayaking and Canoeing on this dam-free river can provide a varying pace, where twists and turns abound; tree lined banks give occasional obstructions in the river; river offshoots, and forks can mimic many decision points in life that is thrown ones way. Please bring your own equipment if you select this option.
Meditation is an important practice for developing centeredness and presence. Meditation is a proven tool used to reduce stress, calm the mind and body and allow meditation to reconnect within. Wilwin provides many locations for the individual veteran to meditate, whether it be on the lake; hiking the trails; sitting in one of the many hunting blinds located throughout the property; sitting lake-side reflecting on nature; or sitting in a golf cart watching the peacefulness of deer at an adjacent deer farm just 500 feet east of the main buildings.
Campfires provide warmth for those who gather around them. The relative anonymity in a nighttime fire circle enables participants to openly and honestly engage. Wilwin provides a fire circle near the beach at the lake. Picnic tables and benches are provided to encourage a reflective gathering. Campfires encourage camaraderie.
There is no better place than a veteran walking the eco-friendly trails of Wilwin (1/4 mile at a time or all 15 plus miles of them) alone, with a love one, or with a group of other veterans who share the same interests. The exercise involved can give one peace and refresh the mind and soul. It can be a chance for self-mediiation, reminiscing with old acquaintances, or renewing the memories and reconnection with love ones. Wildlife abounds. The watching of an eagle soaring overhead or sitting in a faraway tree; the deer romping away into the wilds avoiding being seen; the wild turkey or grouse on the ground suddenly flying into the air with a flurry of whirs into nearby trees out of site of their passerby can be stimulating for any person or persons who encounter such situations.
A walk on the walkway leading to the observation booth in the marsh gives one an overview of the habitat of the marsh. Ducks, geese, birds, and small animals roam the area freely in an eco-friendly environment.
Swimming at Wilwin on a sand covered beach or sitting at a picnic table or park bench watching others swim can not only be relaxing and enlightening. Swimming provides the exercise the body needs. After a vigorous swim, one can go into the bathhouse and take a shower or sit and relax and reflect in a warm screened-off area within the bathhouse overlooking the boat dock, lake, and beach.
GAMES AND OTHER RECREATION
Participation in games can be relaxing. Available on site is a commercial size pool table; card games of such as cribbage and hearts; table games such as scrabble, monopoly, and life. Veterans are encouraged to participate with their comrades in making the best of these games, especially during inclement weather. A card table, 12 foot shuffleboard table, darts, ping pong and other games will be available upon completion of the planned recreational hall later this summer.
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