Author Topic: Any info on Boulder Creek Academy in Bonners Ferry, Idaho?  (Read 27235 times)

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Offline Anonymous

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Any info on Boulder Creek Academy in Bonners Ferry, Idaho?
« Reply #15 on: October 01, 2007, 08:53:02 AM »
it's important to remember that it is forbidden to speak to any family members (including and especially parents) after any of the profeets. This is done very purposefully and the reasons are manyfold.

I also wanted to mention that siblings of the same age rarely were given communication rights. Most of the time letter writing agreements  could be extended to  grandparents and that was about it for the first year. After the first home visit or two I could contact most of my adult family but I'd have to wait until I could writie the selected friends before I could contact cousins.
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Offline AuntieEm

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BCA is her daddy now
« Reply #16 on: October 01, 2007, 10:31:35 AM »
I had trouble accessing the site this weekend and panicked.  I can't tell you what it means to me to be able to ask straight questions and get straight answers from you all.  And to browse through information here that helps me put the pieces together.

I seem to have a mountain of general research and until now no specific information. It seems very easy for other family members to look at the horror stories, or the academic papers about the ineffectiveness of such programs, and say, "But that can't be happening to her," and "Her father has the right to decide."  They just don't want to believe it--while I sit here with my hair on fire, urging action. So to have specific information about BCA/RMA/Ascent is really appreciated.

And thanks for the pep talk!

Was the girl emotional before being sent away? Yes. She had significant and valid reasons for being royally pissed off at the world. And in adolescense, this can be accompanied by explosive outbursts. Hello hormones, as you say. The family situation is very complex, undoubtedly confusing for a teen.  And in complex family systems, one person often gets singled out as "the problem," because it's easier than dealing head-on with bigger challenges like a parent's drug and alcohol addiction.

Here's something to gnaw on:
Her father is not fulfilling his duties as a parent; he has abdicated them.  He is not helping her with homework, taking her to the doctor, meeting and screening boys/girls who want to date her, taking her shopping, listening to her sucesses and failures, teaching her to drive, comforting when her heart's been broken, visiting colleges with her. He has signed over his parental responsibilities to strangers. He is writing checks ($200K is a lot of guilt, no?). He may have been her father at one time, but BCA is Big Daddy now.

AuntieEm
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Offline AuntieEm

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Communication and home visits
« Reply #17 on: October 01, 2007, 12:02:37 PM »
Only her Nana has been allowed to send a few letters - that started after more than a year in the program. No replies from her have been received. No home visits have happened, or are being discussed.

Once letters were allowed from certain people, do you think you received all that were sent to you? Reflecting on what you now know, do you think they were arriving at the facility and not being given to you? Did you receive them unopened? Was communication still controlled in this manner past age of 18?

Communicating with her has become a very central concern (among many huge concerns).

AuntieEm
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Offline Anonymous

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Any info on Boulder Creek Academy in Bonners Ferry, Idaho?
« Reply #18 on: October 01, 2007, 12:36:13 PM »
1. You can expect the communication to be nil for most family members and few and far between (and monitored) with parents. All of us BS'd are parents on phone because we had to.   The emotional barrage was too great to withstand, and we knew they'd lie to parents about us if we complained.  And they did.

2. If intense verbal and emotional abuse is the treatment that the parents are seeking, look no further.   It is not a therapeutic program. They will never really know what their daughter is subjected to. And she will learn the hard way to keep her lips zipped and spout the program line in order to survive. In fact, she'll end up adopting whatever storyline about herself they create and spend decades with a self concept that was never accurate.  Hell, they had virgins convinced they were sluts, and teetotalers convinced they were druggies. It's not unlikely she will internalize the message, drink the KoolAid, graduate singing its praises, but experience a deep emotional disconnect that never goes away and gnaws away at her...

Go to the ISAC website (google it), and read the list of what entails a cult type "school." I think Maya may have posted a similar checklist in her book Help at Any Cost. It also includes Red Flags that may seem benign at first.   Print it and give it to parents.

PS. Tell Pops his 200, 000 would be better spent spending time with her, getting to know her, believing in her, supporting her dreams and goals. Maybe he should go to a program to learn to be a loving parent.

Well, at least she has you.
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Offline Anonymous

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If You Want to Know
« Reply #19 on: October 01, 2007, 12:49:34 PM »
explains that her life was probably saved because she was on the streets... and yes, her circumstances were extreme enough that being warehoused at least kept her alive. In her case, she may honestly say her life was spared. But does that mean it was a good program? No. Because she still had to endure an emotionally abusive, psychologically twisted cult environment to be "saved." Imagine if she had a safe place to go that was nurturing, that was staffed by real therapists who kept safe boundaries and encouraged you to do the same? A place that helped prepare you for a real world?

The fall out from these programs take YEARS to understand, let alone sift through.

Maybe the new BCA is an improvement, but if it employs the same people, who followed a cultic model, I would think not. Most of these programs that are shut down simply acquire a new name, and keep old practices. You know: same shit, new name. It still stinks.
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Offline Anonymous

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Re: Communication and home visits
« Reply #20 on: October 01, 2007, 05:13:53 PM »
Quote from: ""AuntieEm""
Only her Nana has been allowed to send a few letters - that started after more than a year in the program. No replies from her have been received. No home visits have happened, or are being discussed.

Once letters were allowed from certain people, do you think you received all that were sent to you? Reflecting on what you now know, do you think they were arriving at the facility and not being given to you? Did you receive them unopened? Was communication still controlled in this manner past age of 18?

Communicating with her has become a very central concern (among many huge concerns).

AuntieEm


where was the girl before bca reopened in january? Was it a similar school? you sad you have not heard from her in a yr.
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Offline AuntieEm

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Any info on Boulder Creek Academy in Bonners Ferry, Idaho?
« Reply #21 on: October 01, 2007, 05:41:40 PM »
She has been at BCA since last summer (you say January--do you mean they reopened in January 2006?), and was at a wilderness school before that. I'd rather not say which wilderness program at this time so as to preserve her anonymity. Apparently a very typical scenario to be sent to a wilderness program, then parents are told the child's condition is more serious and requires long-term care at a boarding school. Sent by escort service, of course.

Sorry to be evasive on details. Have to be for now.

AuntieEm
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Offline AuntieEm

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BCA staff then and now
« Reply #22 on: October 01, 2007, 05:53:58 PM »
Universal Health Services acquired Boulder Creek Academy sometime after April 2005. But many of the same staff were reportedly rehired. I am interested in which ones may still be on staff.

Do these people look familiar to you from CEDU/Brown days, before April 2005?

1. Paul Johnson, School Director
2. Shawnale Wilson, Admissions Director
3. Brian Daskivich, Ph.D., Psychologist, Dean of Students & Assistant School Director
4. Teresa Tompkins, Family Services Manager
5. Marjorie Timms, Ph.D., Academic Dean

Also, new in the last month:
6. Dr. Bruce Miewald, M.D. - Board Certified Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist (used to be Dr. George J. Ullrich)

Any stories about/experiences with these people (before or since)?

AuntieEm
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Offline AuntieEm

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Could this this thread name be updated?
« Reply #23 on: October 01, 2007, 05:57:40 PM »
Could Fornits change this thread name to "CEDU/Brown/Universal Health Services Schools", by any chance? It would help others who do not know the history.

AuntieEm
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Offline try another castle

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Any info on Boulder Creek Academy in Bonners Ferry, Idaho?
« Reply #24 on: October 01, 2007, 11:51:18 PM »
Quote
Did you receive them unopened?


No. All mail is opened, going both ways. All phone conversations have an older student present and are limited to 15 minutes once a week. If you write something negative about the school, they won't send it out. They will give it back to you and ask you to re-write it, if memory serves. If you start talking shit on the phone that you are not supposed to, such as ask about your friends, or family members who you don't have to the privilege to speak with yet, or talk negatively about how the school is treating you, the older student monitoring you will force you to end the phone call.

I honestly don't know what they do for mail they receive that you are not permitted to have.

When I was there, we gained the "privilege" to seal our own mail and make unmonitored calls after the Values propheet, which is when you reach the upper part of the challenge family. I remember that it was an election year, and it was going to be my first year ever to vote. I officially had "sealed-envelope" privileges, so I put my absentee ballot in the mailbox to be sent. Then I went on my wilderness challenge. Fifteen days later, I come back. It's the night before the election, and my fucking ballot is still in the mailbox in the challenge mudroom, apparently because it was an unidentifiable type of envelope, so the tard-heads in challenge staff weren't capable of wrapping their brains around the fact that someone from Rocky Mountain Academy MIGHT ACTUALLY BE VOTING.

I grab it and go and scream at Greg Springett to drive my ballot down to Bonners Ferry and put it in the post office mailbox NOW. That was the only time I got really really pissed about the mail situation. Can anyone say federal offense on two counts? 1. Tampering with the mail. 2. Tampering with a ballot.

Doesn't matter anyway. It was Bush vs. Dukakis. Yeah, right.

The other thing is, a lot of times, the kid won't say anything because they really don't *want* to say anything. They think the school is the best thing that ever happened to them. My parents were more than just a little surprised when I told them that the place was so fucked up. Their response was "but you looked so happy."

For the record, they know how I feel about the place now, and that it was a shit-hole. Whether they agree with it or not, I dunno. But I won't go into detail with them about what happened there, because it would break their hearts. Or at least, I hope it would. I mean, I hope they are the kind of people who would be horrified that they inadvertently put their child through that, you know?


I don't know anything about this new doc, but it's good that Ulrich is gone, because he was a greedy quack who just wanted to dope up kids and get a lot of money by referring them to his own private treatment facility for $1000 a day until he felt they were "better enough" to return to the school.

For the record, I was there before CEDU started using meds. I'm going off of others' testimony on this. In fact, when I was there, I don't think there was one single person who had any kind of license that would allow them to counsel kids. They were very anti-med, anti-science, anti-psychology, type people. i.e. fuckin buncha birkenstock-wearing granola-eating hippies who got hard-ons listening to james taylor, john denver, carole king and the plastic ono band album.

I also checked with admissions when I called NWA a while back. She said that almost all of the people who were around when I was there have moved on. Even Patsy Thompson, who was pretty much a fixture from inception to closing.

Also, they said that at least for the NWA program, which is only supposed to be a year long, ALL students must attend some sort of wilderness school before going there. My guess it that would be the same for BCA. I know that she said it did not have to be Ascent, which is the CEDU wilderness school, so I am assuming they can be sent to SUWS, or SageWalk, or other such nonsense. So essentially, every kid coming into NWA, and I would assume BCA as well, just came off wilderness.

And of course... now they have also introduced 12 step. Brilliant. Let's mix two cults into one. Especially because so many kids who go to these places are convinced by staff that they are druggies or drunks when they aren't. Ironically enough, a lot of them come out, and start using drugs like a fiend, when it never even crossed their minds before they got shipped off to that place.
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Offline Anonymous

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Any info on Boulder Creek Academy in Bonners Ferry, Idaho?
« Reply #25 on: October 05, 2007, 01:58:57 AM »
Kids who were sent to BCA that didn't drink or smoke or touch any kind of drugs had it pretty rough. This will obviously sound brash and doesn't reflect how I feel personally, but the general thinking was that if you were sent there for some other reason, you were either a slut (and obviously female...) or you had serious social problems. Either way, you'd catch a ton of shit. A lot of kids caught onto it pretty quickly and would just straight up lie - I remember this one kid being asked what his favorite kind of weed was and answering "salvia" hahaha.

But yea basically I can only imagine that after 2 years or so of pretending to be an ex-drug user or being picked on for NOT being an ex-drug user, or for one of the million other reasons (piqued curiosity, bottled up aggression, the fact that trying to reintegrate into the real world after being literally incarcerated is overwhelming and extremely stressful...) one would be pretty inclined to spark up their very first blunt or kick back that very first bottle of Jack. I know a lot of kids who went to BCA 100% clean and then started hitting things pretty heavily when they got out. I smoke blunts with one regularly.

Kids would show up not knowing the difference between an O'Douls and a beer, and by the time they left they knew how to brew alcohol in a storage tub under their bed. The fuck do you think is gonna happen when they get home? They combine their newly acquired knowledge, curiosity and frustrations with their long-awaited freedom...the rest is inevitable.
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Offline Anonymous

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Re: BCA staff then and now
« Reply #26 on: October 05, 2007, 02:14:17 AM »
Quote from: ""AuntieEm""
Universal Health Services acquired Boulder Creek Academy sometime after April 2005. But many of the same staff were reportedly rehired. I am interested in which ones may still be on staff.

Do these people look familiar to you from CEDU/Brown days, before April 2005?

1. Paul Johnson, School Director
2. Shawnale Wilson, Admissions Director
3. Brian Daskivich, Ph.D., Psychologist, Dean of Students & Assistant School Director
4. Teresa Tompkins, Family Services Manager
5. Marjorie Timms, Ph.D., Academic Dean

Also, new in the last month:
6. Dr. Bruce Miewald, M.D. - Board Certified Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist (used to be Dr. George J. Ullrich)

Any stories about/experiences with these people (before or since)?

AuntieEm


I only remember that Teresa Tompkins is one of the most manipulative, devious individuals I have ever had the displeasure of meeting. She is truly nothing but a coil of various lies; she'll do and say anything to keep enrollment up. She actually assisted in trying to block my enrollment in another boarding school (one of the "ivy league feeders" back home in MA) and thus directly derail my future in hopes of keeping my parents paying tuition for another 6 months...

Shawnale was there long before I was. I can picture her now touring my parents around while I was taking advantage of their 3-day absence to throw what would be my last party as a normal high school kid. Can't really gripe about her, other than the fact that she was probably the most effective in convincing my parents to enroll me there...

I never met Timms, I just remember that I spoke to her when the school closed down about getting my transcripts...not only was she absolutely no help but she was a royal bitch on the phone. Academic dean was a pretty worthless position at BCA anyways, I could've taught myself the entire school's curriculum out of a handful of textbooks over the course of a month or two anyways. And that's not me being cocky, anyone could've done it.

BCA's website loves to flaunt its "94% success rate" (hey, at least they had the balls to update it when it dropped from 95%), but I crunched my own numbers and found that about 7% percent of people who spent over 12 months at BCA actually go on to college...

Less than 5% actually finish.
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Offline AuntieEm

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Any info on Boulder Creek Academy in Bonners Ferry, Idaho?
« Reply #27 on: October 05, 2007, 12:53:32 PM »
Quote
I grab it and go and scream at Greg Springett to drive my ballot down to Bonners Ferry and put it in the post office mailbox NOW. That was the only time I got really really pissed about the mail situation. Can anyone say federal offense on two counts? 1. Tampering with the mail. 2. Tampering with a ballot.

Doesn't matter anyway. It was Bush vs. Dukakis. Yeah, right.

All elections, all votes, matter. I'm appalled they did not respect your ballot.

Quote
ALL students must attend some sort of wilderness school before going there. My guess it that would be the same for BCA.


This was true for my niece. Not sure about chicken v. egg. We were given to believe the wilderness program (not a CEDU affiliate) was it, then she'd come home--then at the end of that we were told she would be going to BCA. Don't know if BCA insisted on the wilderness program.

Quote
Ironically enough, a lot of them come out, and start using drugs like a fiend, when it never even crossed their minds before they got shipped off to that place.


Yes, I worry about this. This system, this program, this isolation does not provide the normal, gradual transition to adult choices and responsiblities that she would have in a home environment. Sure, this is what parents and kids have conflicts over, but that's growing up. I will not be surprised if she runs wild when she comes home--I would be very concerned for her safety and vulnerability, but not surprised.

AuntieEm
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Offline AuntieEm

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Any info on Boulder Creek Academy in Bonners Ferry, Idaho?
« Reply #28 on: October 05, 2007, 01:05:19 PM »
Quote
I never met Timms, I just remember that I spoke to her when the school closed down about getting my transcripts...not only was she absolutely no help but she was a royal bitch on the phone. Academic dean was a pretty worthless position at BCA anyways, I could've taught myself the entire school's curriculum out of a handful of textbooks over the course of a month or two anyways. And that's not me being cocky, anyone could've done it.


How real is the threat to withhold transcripts?

BCA is now "provisionally accredited" to grant a HS diploma in Idaho. The provisional part is because of the change of ownership.  Accreditation in Idaho is now handled not by the Dept of Ed, but by an outside entity: Northwest Association of Accredited Schools (a recent development). I am trying to confirm with local school districts whether they will accept credits from BCA. But they'll probably ask for a document or transcript, and then I'll be at a dead end because I am not her parent.

AuntieEm
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Offline AuntieEm

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Any info on Boulder Creek Academy in Bonners Ferry, Idaho?
« Reply #29 on: October 05, 2007, 01:17:24 PM »
Thanks to Guest for specific info on staff at BCA.

Quote
But yea basically I can only imagine that after 2 years or so of pretending to be an ex-drug user or being picked on for NOT being an ex-drug user, or for one of the million other reasons (piqued curiosity, bottled up aggression, the fact that trying to reintegrate into the real world after being literally incarcerated is overwhelming and extremely stressful...) one would be pretty inclined to spark up their very first blunt or kick back that very first bottle of Jack.


I remember my first semester at college it was the kids who had come from the strictest homes--classic examples were the children of clergy--who were the wildest. Had to watch out for them so they didn't go home drunk with some pervert.

I hope my niece can go to college and be successful. I wish I could be more optimistic about her chances.
 
AuntieEm
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