Author Topic: Wilderness: the answer for some troubled teens  (Read 3702 times)

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Offline Anonymous

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Wilderness: the answer for some troubled teens
« on: September 19, 2009, 08:37:09 PM »
DURANGO - Sometimes just getting away from the problems and patterns of normal life can really help kids who are struggling to overcome problems with drugs, eating disorders and even anger management.
Advertisement

That's the concept behind Open Sky Wilderness Therapy, one of the fifty Colorado Companies to Watch selected by the Colorado Department of Economic Development and International Trade.

Open Sky assists struggling adolescents and young adults who are dealing with a variety of issues from self-esteem problems to depression, to promiscuity to addiction. The program separates the youth from their ordinary lives, bringing them into the wilderness far from the influence of the friends, family and situations that may have created or contributed to the problem. Plus, challenges in the rustic setting allow the student to build confidence and find new ways to solve problems.

"They get different coping skills or some different ways they can deal with the emotions and problems of life. They don't have to use external things like drugs or slamming doors or isolating themselves," explained Open Sky Admissions Director Lauren Lollini.

The goal is to find new and more productive ways of dealing with their issues and actually put them to work.

"They're able to practice in the wilderness and figure out exactly what is going to work and what's not going to work," Lollini said. "(They) set up some good momentum for when they do get out of the wilderness and they're back in real life."

In addition to clinical care provided by the company's therapists and doctors, the program offers a holistic approach. Participants eat organic food and are treated with naturopathic medicine.

The company's services are not cheap. It can cost more than $400 a day, which can really add up over an average 8 to 9 week program. Lollini says the company does offer scholarships to defray the cost for some of the kids.

Open Sky Wilderness Therapy was selected as one of 2009's 50 Companies to Watch by the state of Colorado. To see stories about the other companies selected, CLICK HERE.
(Copyright KUSA*TV, All Rights Reserved)

it has a video report on the website

http://www.9news.com/seenon9news/articl ... &catid=509
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Offline Oscar

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Re: Wilderness: the answer for some troubled teens
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2009, 02:10:04 AM »
What the recent death at Sagewalk confirmed was that wilderness therapy still is not without risk.

Turning to what is known about this specific program the datasheet on our Wiki have a quote from an article in Salt Lake Tribune:

Quote
Recent sheriff's records: In October 2007, a girl ran away from Open Sky and ended up on a woman's porch with no shoes, saying she had been kidnapped and her wrist was hurt when she refused to submit to a strip search, according to a report from the San Juan County Sheriff's Office. Her father, who lives in San Francisco, retrieved her and said it was the fourth such camp she had run away from. The same month, another girl fell about 20 feet and was taken to a hospital with neck and back pain.

Maybe it is impossible to make wilderness programs safe. The question is whether the parents are prepared to have a body bag returned instead of the Stepford child intended.
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Offline Anonymous

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Re: Wilderness: the answer for some troubled teens
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2009, 09:11:17 AM »
According to ISAC, Alldredge is now operating as Ayne Institute, so, it appears they're still open.

I think wilderness programs have a shorter life span because kids die in them so often. If kids would have died in schools as often as they do in wilderness programs, you'd see the same pattern.
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Offline Ursus

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Ayne Institute
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2009, 11:11:42 AM »
Quote from: "Yael (Eshet Khever ha'Kinii)"
According to ISAC, Alldredge is now operating as Ayne Institute, so, it appears they're still open.

I think wilderness programs have a shorter life span because kids die in them so often. If kids would have died in schools as often as they do in wilderness programs, you'd see the same pattern.
Is the Ayne Institute still in operation? It seems to have fallen off the radar in the last couple of years...

Here's a representative salary rundown from 2003 I just happened to run across, whilst searching for activity... Doesn't look like staff were paid a whole lot even back then:

—•?|•?•0•?•|?•— —•?|•?•0•?•|?•— —•?|•?•0•?•|?•—

Salary of Ayne Institute LLC dba Alldredge Academy

1-4 of 4 results. Page 1 of 1.
Ayne Institute LLC dba Alldredge Academy jobs

Teacher Environmental Studies   
    Ayne Institute LLC dba Alldredge Academy   $27,500   Davis, WV (04/2003) >>
Wilderness Outdoor Experiential Teacher
    Ayne Institute LLC dba Alldredge Academy   $27,500   Davis, WV (04/2003) >>
Wilderness Outdoor Experiential Teacher
    Ayne Institute LLC dba Alldredge Academy   $27,500   Davis, WV (04/2003) >>
Wilderness Outdoor Experiential Teacher
    Ayne Institute LLC dba Alldredge Academy   $27,500   Davis, WV (04/2003) >>
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Offline Anonymous

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Re: Wilderness: the answer for some troubled teens
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2009, 07:22:10 PM »
Alldredge Academy/Ayne Institute was sold to Solacium in 2006. The name was changed to Alldredge Wilderness Journey.  The program was closed (failed) in December 2008. Solicium Changed their name to InnerChange and continues to operate RTC;s in Utah.
L. Jay Mitchell, the original owner and person responsible for a child's death in 2001, opened a new program in Pence Springs, W.V. called Greenbrier Academy for Girls. Many of the employees of Greenbrier Academy are Mitchell's family members or ex Alldredge employees. Same scam, different name. L. Jay Mitchell has had at least two children die in his care. It is just a matter of time before another tragedy occurs.
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Offline RMA Survivor

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Re: Wilderness: the answer for some troubled teens
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2009, 12:44:16 AM »
Just because you know how to make pie or bread doesn't mean you should open a bakery.  So many of these camps are created by people with no experience outside of a very limited background.  A guy who has chopped down a lot of trees and hiked through many mountains is not competent to provide therapy to anyone.  Someone who was a chef at a therapy school is not qualified to run his own.
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Offline Che Gookin

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Re: Wilderness: the answer for some troubled teens
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2009, 03:18:41 AM »
http://http://www.fornits.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=28791

Not one former staff member speaking out, not two, but three have something to say about wilderness programs of different sorts.
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Offline Ursus

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Alldredge Academy / Ayne Institute and Solacium / InnerChang
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2009, 09:33:30 PM »
Quote from: "guest456378"
Alldredge Academy/Ayne Institute was sold to Solacium in 2006. The name was changed to Alldredge Wilderness Journey.  The program was closed (failed) in December 2008. Solicium Changed their name to InnerChange and continues to operate RTC;s in Utah.
L. Jay Mitchell, the original owner and person responsible for a child's death in 2001, opened a new program in Pence Springs, W.V. called Greenbrier Academy for Girls. Many of the employees of Greenbrier Academy are Mitchell's family members or ex Alldredge employees. Same scam, different name. L. Jay Mitchell has had at least two children die in his care. It is just a matter of time before another tragedy occurs.
I guess I got the impression from the OP that Ayne may have become a separate entity from Alldgredge Wilderness Journey, which I hadn't heard about, and which is what I was seeking to confirm.

Of course, Mitchell brought both Alldredge Wilderness Journey as well as Greenbrier Academy to Solacium's fold. Then Solacium had to downsize, and a number of key personnel left, among them L. Jay Mitchell. He took Greenbrier with him, and Solacium / InnerChange axed what was left of Alldredge, as well as one or two of their other programs.

Back in December of 2007, these are the programs that Solacium / InnerChange owned [KEY: bold text: still in operation; red dots - still owned by Solacium / InnerChange; blue dots - now owned by someone else]:

  • New Haven - South Campus, North Campus
  • Sunrise Academy
  • Alldredge Wilderness Journey
  • Fulshear Ranch Academy
  • Transitions of Galveston Island
  • Sommerville Young Adult Community
  • Greenbrier Academy
  • Wilderness Quest (pending purchase)

See also:

    from:
Alldredge/Ayne Settles, Admits Guilt
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=15652&p=243417#p243417[/list]
    SOLACIUM Holdings LLC
    viewtopic.php?f=9&t=24481[/list]
      GREENBRIER ACADEMY / L. Jay Mitchell
      viewtopic.php?f=9&t=27622[/list]
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      Offline dreamingneon

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      Re: Wilderness Programs: the answer for some troubled teens
      « Reply #8 on: July 22, 2010, 05:08:39 AM »
      It is really difficult to judge a wilderness program unless you have become part of the system and experienced everything it has to offer. Although taking your children to a foreign program and having them go through its rigorous and mostly strict programs, these types of programs are not as bad as they sound. According to this site about wilderness programs, troubled teens will benefit from the program's strict rules and regulations as they will help the teens to become the person that they ought to be and overcome their behavioral problems. So, I don't think such programs won't hurt the chances of parents helping their children.
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      Offline Whooter

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      Re: Wilderness: the answer for some troubled teens
      « Reply #9 on: July 22, 2010, 07:53:25 AM »
      Some Pros and Cons:

      Pro    * Can run roughly 4-8 weeks  

        Con    * No academics involved

        Pro    * Keeps the teen away from any outside influences that may be affecting him/her

          Pro   * Good for teens struggling with ADD/ADHD, Oppositional Defiant Behavior, and/or substance abuse

        Pro    * Emphasize positive behavior change

          Pro   * Teach respect, self-discipline, self-esteem, self-confidence, group participation and responsibility

          Con   * Cost anywhere from $4,000-$9,000 month



      ...
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      Offline Troll Control

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      Re: Wilderness: the answer for some troubled teens
      « Reply #10 on: July 22, 2010, 08:09:06 AM »
      CON - Kills children.  Aspen Education wilderness killed a kid recently and was shut down by authorities.

      CON - No evidence suggests wilderness is effective at helping anyone with anything.

      CON(def.) - Whooter/Aspen Education ;)
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      Offline DannyB II

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      Re: Wilderness: the answer for some troubled teens
      « Reply #11 on: July 22, 2010, 09:53:05 AM »
      Quote from: "Dysfunction Junction"
      CON - Kills children.  Aspen Education wilderness killed a kid recently and was shut down by authorities.

      CON - No evidence suggests wilderness is effective at helping anyone with anything.

      CON(def.) - Whooter/Aspen Education ;)

      Just asking a question here?????  
      I am still learning about the volume of wilderness programs offered in America, to young kids with assorted problems. Dysfunction are you saying that "no" Wilderness Programs are effective or is it "the" wilderness is not effective.
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      Offline Troll Control

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      Re: Wilderness: the answer for some troubled teens
      « Reply #12 on: July 22, 2010, 01:42:24 PM »
      I think a kid going camping with their family would probably be effective in helping to grow the familial bonds.  "The Wilderness" in and of itself has no intrinsic therapeutic value.  

      "Wilderness Programs" have never been subjected to research studies and therefore nobody can make the claim that they are "effective" at helping anyone with anything.  Anecdotal evidence suggests they could be anywhere in the range of having no effect to being harmful or deadly.  We'd have to see some sort of rigorous examination by an independent researcher before we can make any real judgment.

      Right now, suffice it to say, "wilderness programs," like Aspen Education's Sagewalk (shut down for murdering a child, according to the sheriff), have maimed and killed children in their care and, as such, in the absence of any evidence of their effectiveness, should be strictly avoided.
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      Offline Whooter

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      Re: Wilderness: the answer for some troubled teens
      « Reply #13 on: July 22, 2010, 02:59:34 PM »
      Interesting Read


      Wilderness Therapy Programs” are powerful and effective interventions for adolescents with behavioral, mental health and substance abuse disorders. As a practicing psychologist, I have referred hundreds of adolescents to these programs over the past eight years. I have also been involved in outcome research and publishing consumer protection information about Wilderness Programs on the Internet. Here is what I have learned.

         Wilderness programs that treat adolescents are part of a broader field called outdoor behavioral health. Making referrals to wilderness therapy programs, providing concurrent family treatment and follow-up services represent a tremendous opportunity for adolescent and family psychologists’ practice development.
         The term “wilderness therapy” can confuse those who are considering this intervention option. Wilderness therapy has two meanings: (1) introducing people to the wilderness “as the therapist,” and (2) “therapeutic activities” that take place in the wilderness. Wilderness therapy programs were developed as alternatives to adolescent inpatient and residential treatment programs.

         The purpose of a wilderness therapy program is to separate youth from negative influences and place them in environments that are safe and support growth. Students are not merely thrown into the wilderness and made to suffer hardships. They are encouraged, challenged and given every opportunity to succeed in activities that are necessary, natural or reasonable. Children form bonds with each other, field staff and therapists while they endure adversity and struggle as a group to overcome natural challenges. Wilderness therapy is experiential, based on action methods and includes individual and group psychotherapy.


      Link



      ...
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      Offline Troll Control

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      Wilderness Programs Kill Kids
      « Reply #14 on: July 22, 2010, 03:36:57 PM »
      I found this article very interesting.  And deeply disturbing.  Just goes to show that the marketing spin is vastly different from the harsh realities these kids face when left alone in the wilderness with untrained and often sadistic program staff...

      Quote
      Media Release - Sheriff recommends death be identified a homicide at Sagewalk (OR, Sagewalk)
      Tuesday, March 30 2010 Deputy Sheriff Chuck Pore    .

      The Lake County Sheriff's Office has concluded its primary investigation into the death of Sergey Blashchishen in northern Lake County on August 28th, 2009.


      Sergey was attending SageWalk The Wilderness School when he died while participating in his first program hike. Findings, investigative opinions, and recommendations have been prepared in a criminal investigations report.

      This report will now shortly be submitted to the Lake County District Attorney. Any recommendations of the report, including any recommendations for prosecution, are not binding on the District Attorney. Due to the size and complexity of the investigation and the report itself, it is not expected that any District Attorney opinion or charging decision will be forthcoming for a period of time.

      Although the Department of Human Services Office of Investigations and Training conducted much of their investigation in cooperation with the Lake County Sheriff's Office, the separate investigations have separate responsibilities. The report of the State Medical Examiner has not been released. It is not expected that the findings of either DHS or the ME will be in conflict with the Sheriff's Office conclusions, but that when released, their findings will be based upon the mission and parameters of the respective agency. Additional support was provided during this investigation by the Oregon State Police, the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office, and the United States Bureau of Land Management. The Lake County Sheriff's Office is grateful to all persons, named and unnamed, who have contributed their assistance during this investigation.

      Deputy Sheriff Chuck Poré has been the primary case investigator for the Lake County Sheriff's Office and is the report author. This investigation has included interviews of persons who were on the hike with Sergey Blashchishen and witnessed the incident and his death; interview of persons not on the hike but familiar with the program practices and procedures; and review of hundreds of documents from the Aspen Education Group and SageWalk The Wilderness School program. The investigation of the Lake County Sheriff's Office has made a recommendation that the manner of Sergey Blashchishen's death be identified as a homicide.[/i]

      The prosecution of criminal charges have been recommended for the corporations responsible for the program which resulted in Sergey's death. At the time of his death, Sergey was on a program hike administered by several corporate employees known as field instructors. Although most were medically trained, investigation identified issues which may have brought medical practices into conflict with program practices, and this conflict having a significant impact on Sergey Blashchishen's death.

      No recommendation has been made in the cases of the individual field instructors but a District Attorney review has been requested. The media patience extended during the course of this investigation has been admirable. It is asked that you continue the same courtesy to the Office of the District Attorney as the District Attorney begins this next part of the investigation.

       :suicide:  :poison:  :eek:
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