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Who We Are Not

Unlike many organizations, Kismet’s mission and systems should not be understood as either fundamentally experiential or therapeutic. Kismet does not use the natural environment as a setting for therapy. Its mission is designed to prevent the future need for therapy!

Kismet programs are not intended to “treat” specific aspects of character and personality but instead allow character development to emerge naturally from the struggle by which expertise and knowledge are gained. Kismet does not seek to identify certain aspects of its students as essentially “unwell” and its instructors do not actively engage in psychological and emotional intervention as primary strategies.

Kismet’s mission is also commonly misunderstood as serving only urban children, as being therapeutic, or as being similar to a recreational camp. These preconceptions vastly misrepresent the Kismet program. Kismet transforms the lives of both rural and urban children who have been significantly deprived of material and social capital. Rather than merely depending on radical experience in the outdoors to induce personal transformation, Kismet’s mission is accomplished by providing students with an intensive education in technical rock climbing coupled with a loving home environment and positive role modeling.