Solitude and Trees at the Village

The Alice C Tyler Village of Childhelp is a residential treatment group home for children who have experienced trauma most often from abuse or neglect.  Because of that trauma they have failed to thrive in normal childhood settings such as school or home. 

The children are referred to the Village program for a period of time (usually months) and while here receive intensive counseling and opportunities to express themselves physically, emotionally, educationally and spiritually.  Once in the program children are with people 24 hours a day/7 days a week and under constant supervision. "Solitude" is a basic human need but often in short supply for these children due to the nature of the program. 

Two years ago we added a meditation trail/labyrinth to give the children some opportunity for solitude while still under supervision.  The labyrinth was designed to be part of a forest garden orchard. The area where the orchard and trail are located is physically isolated on the crest of a gently sloping hill.  It is visually open so that staff can monitor from a distance while a child walks the trail among the orchard trees.  This gives the child a feeling of solitude while still being monitored. 

The Village is presently participating in a national contest, Communities Take Root, attempting to win an orchard of fruit trees.  The fruit trees will allow us to finish the forest garden aspect of the labyrinth.    You can help by going to and voting for Lignum/Childhelp in Virginia.   This is just another example of the way the unique place that is a Childhelp Village can be used for the spiritual and physical healing of hurting children.

- David Henry

David Henry is the Chaplain at the Childhelp Alice C. Tyler Village located in Virginia 


See also: Today Show video from the Childhelp Alice C. Tyler Village





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