Archive | August 2013

141. Maryville Academy for Girls

Assault and suicide are the first words when people think of Maryville Academy for Girls. An unnamed 14 year old girl ended her life at this place. In 2002 an 11 year old girl was assaulted by older boys.

It doesn’t sound like a fun place to be as a teenager.


140. SUWS

SUWS was one of the oldest wilderness program. For many years it was not marketed as therapy but more like an outward bound program. Around 1980 the boot camp styled way of running a wilderness program was introduced. SUWS followed the market trend.

SUWS was located at two locations. Idaho and North Carolina. Some years ago the activities in Idaho were ceased. The program is estimated to last between 8 and 12 weeks. Research show that the teenagers who graduate the program opposite other teenagers need further placement at boarding schools or treatment centers. It is unclear whether policy inside the industry to pay referrals influence this result.

In 1985 a boy died during a hike at the Idaho location showing that wilderness programs are dangerous. Today we know that he was just one of many who didn’t return home alive. It doesn’t sound like fun being a teenager in such programs. In 2006 another boy died at the North Carolina location.

A special family version of the wilderness program was filmed as part of the infamous Brat Camp reality TV-show. 4 families from the United Kingdom were exposed to the harsh conditions and it was more than one of the parents could endure and she had opt out which was not an option for the children in the TV-show. Some time after the TV-show one of the children who had been in the show died.

During the time the wilderness program had been located in North Carolina, a number of teenagers have used the forest environment to run away from the wilderness program which means that costly resources had to be put in the recover them from the wilderness.

Their Idaho location closed around 2013 and in 2023 it was announced that the North Carolina would close.


2023 update

It was announced that the department in North Carolina would shut down. After two deaths it must have been enough.

Wilderness therapy program in North Carolina closes after 23 years (Fox Carolina)

139. Rocky Mountain Academy

For many years Rocky Mountain Academy like the other CEDU boarding schools were where the rich and famous shipped their kids off to while they were busy making a career for themselves.

Idaho seems to be a rather isolated place where none can hear the screams. A boy from Texas found himself not heard and hanged himself in the Camelot dorm.

It does not sound like a very fun place to be as a teenager.


138. Project PATCH

Somewhere in the rural Idaho teenagers are isolated by orders from their parents until they surrender to a life with God. Of course most try to runaway. In one case a girl found help with a dorm supervisor from the school. He was sentenced to 20 years for his help.

The facility has been used in connection with the Dr. Phil entertainment show.

If a teenager is willing to live with a stranger it tells me that it is not a fun place to live as a teenager.

2016 Update

In 2016 a former employee was arrested charged with with sexual abuse. The article mentions the previous conviction of an employee connected to the program and that they have introduced tools to identify employees which should not work at their program.


2023 Update

Victims of the program have started a group on Facebook.


137. Innercept

This place seems to be one of those places where the parents are milked for every cent while the facility continues to find problem after problem they claim to be able to solve.

Feedbacks from people who have been forced to be there are not positive which leeds me to conclude that it is not a fun place to be as a teenager.


136. Glacier Mountain Academy

This group home / boarding school was sued by the state because they claimed that the owner ran the facility without proper license. The facility closed.

This kind of mess does not sound like a good place to live and go to school in for a teenager.


135. Eagle Mountain Outpost

This short.lived group home in Idaho didn’t exist for long as the authorities took a closer look into what kind of license this place should have. The manager had a career name and a private name, which is quite unusual even for this line of business.

A former resident states:

This was one of two Idaho schools I was “subjected” to as a child, the other was Eagle Mountain Outpost in Sandpoint. I was abused, beaten and harrassed by staff and, believe it or not groups of students doing blanket parties on myself and other students (and worse) all fully known by the staff, and especially the director, Tom Finucane, AKA Tom Gregory. I can’t understand how a male youth school director needs aliases, but he was and is a threat to any child he encounters. Should I find him I still plan on a lawsuit. It haunts me to this day as well. It was very hard undergoing all of this as a child and not even your own parents believing what was going on until it was too late.

Jason – a comment to an article on the “I speak on Dreams” blog

It doesn’t sound like a place for a teenager to have fun.


134. Collège Notre-Dame du Sacré-Cœur

Not only are students required to follow a strict dresscode leaving them without options to express themselves. The uniform has to be purchased at a certain shop so the families cannot shop where clothes is cheapest. They also allowed the children to be abused for too long. Now an investigation has been launched into the abuse.

It is safe to say that it could not have been fun to be there as a student.


133. Boulder Creek Academy

Boulder Creek Academy was part of the CEDU system based on the teachings of Synanon – a cult closed by the IRS. The original company went out of business in 2005 after several boys went missing from the program. To this very day they have not been located.

A former resident wrote on Google review:

BCA appears to no longer be under the CEDU umbrella, but what is the treatment? Has it changed? what percentage of the children are being medicated, or institutionalized by the lead psychiatrist? What exactly are their “studies?”

I attended BCA in the mid 90’s. I have My own private issues and traumas from this place, you can find many examples, It would take far to long to explain mine. Just know my issues mainly have to do with the doctor, and only partly have to do with the abuse and betrayal from their peer therapy. Instead of talking about me, I would like to address the parents considering BCA for their children with some tough love……..

If you can afford to send your kids here, you are the problem. YOUR career and YOUR life are taking priority, leaving your children feeling isolated. Here are some questions to ask yourself; what percentage of the day do you spend time with your children? Or, are even in the same building as them? What do you do, or talk about, when you are with them?

You cannot expect to be a minor part of your child’s day(life) and demand any compliance, that is unreasonable. (You paid the bills, bought the toys, but haven’t earned their respect. And if you think you don’t need to behave in a manner deserving your child’s respect, you are a child yourself) When children feel isolated, they compensate with drug addiction, sex, anger, etc. anything to gain the acceptance of others, and form a pseudo-family. (some children use healthy outlets; needs to be said) The unhealthy habits successfully get your attention though, and that is the only time they they get any real “on demand” attention. Demanding immediate changes from your children, or expecting them to willingly abandon their social groups is ridiculous. These behaviors did not develop overnight, and you had ample time to correct there course. You now have to be patient, there are no miracle cures. It is going to be hard, and it will suck, but BCA, television, or nanny are not responsible for raising your kids, you are! GROW UP PARENTS!!!! LEAD BY EXAMPLE (and know, they don’t know what your are like when they are not around. You have to show them your character, not expect them to believe you “because you say so”.)

In conclusion; It is my opinion that their are people who can benefit from places like BCA, but they typically cannot afford it, nor do they have parents that are even willing to pretend to care. Your kids need YOU to provide structure, not strangers. If you have a few hundred grand to spend on BCA, just know you will be substituting money for parenting, and they will know it for as long as they live.

The facility was purchased by Universal Health Services. They didn’t change much and it continues to be a place where it is not fun for a teenager to live.


Update 2022

It was announced that the facility will close


Boulder Creek Academy to close (9B News)

132. Aspen Family Camp

The idea sounds good. Let us put both the parents and the troubled teenagers on the same hike where they isolated from everyone and anything have peace dealing with their problems.

In reality it isn’t a good idea. The parents who can leave legally any minute complained about the harsh conditions and this constant focus on leaving forced the counselors to deal with that instead of the problems.

The concept was tried during the forth season of “Brat Camp”. One of the teenagers died after he returned back home from problems the program should have adressed. It doesn’t sound like a good place to be for the entire family.