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In a New Light

January 28, 2011

Beginning in March 2010, 26 teenage boys at Northwest Passage in Spooner, Wisconsin, embarked on “In a New Light,” a six month photographic journey of discovery, hope, and healing on the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, a unit of the National Park System. When the project began, most of them had rarely held cameras. With photographic equipment, instruction, and countless hours immersed in the wild beauty of the Riverway, the boys created the stunning photographs showcased in a touring exhibit which just left the Madison state capitol.  You can see the photographs next on February 1 – February 28 at the Cable Natural History Museum in Cable, WI.

"A Fish's View of Flowers" by Lee, age 15

“I’m your reflection, can’t you see.
Though I’m only there in the brightness,
going through life with distortion and ease.
Now I can see that the mirror’s a blur.
And you never were who I hope to be
Never now, never then, will I want to be
your reflection once again.
Now I see what I’m meant to be—
Nothing like you and more like me.”

"Rememberance" by Jody, age 17

of the living,
and the beauty,
how gracious the fall of humanity could be,
I wish the validity of your heart,
was a species of audacity.
though as it is,
in complete silence,
i hear you preach,
complete hypocrisy,
only to crush,
the vision of my vulnerability.”

"Sanding against the Wave" by Michael, age 17

At many points in my life

I’ve struggled to stand against the wave.
When the wave comes
I stand waiting.
It’s building up taller than life.
“When the wave gets close to me
I stand my ground
And wait to fall and tip over.
But now I stand
and face the struggles of life.
And after the wave flows by me
I look back
and see the mistakes I have made.”


“In a New Light” is a partnership between Northwest Passage and the National Park Service. The mission of Northwest Passage is to provide comprehensive and integrated mental health services with a commitment to the highest quality programming while meeting the needs of the community.   Their primary focus has been to restore dignity, emotional wholeness, and a renewed sense of self-worth into the lives of young people.  Pleas visit to view the entire collection of photographs.

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