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New Perspectives - Apr, 1993 Issue #21 

Trout Creek, Montana
Paul Clark & Cheri DesMarais, Founders/Admissions
Review by: Linda Shaffer

Galena Ridge is a small wilderness and residential program for boys from 13-17 year old, which is located in western Montana. Although the program is new, having just accepted its first students, it is the long time dream of Paul and Cheri. With degrees from Rutgers and Mount Holyoke, Paul and Cheri have also had extensive and successful experience in wilderness activities, in teen and family counseling, and in management. Their experience includes work with Outward Bound, Wilderness Crossroads, Ascent Wilderness Program, and the Spring Creek Community School.

The short term summer programs offer expeditions from 2-3 weeks in length for up to 8 students with 4 staff each trip. Activities include back-packing, mountaineering, orienteering, rock climbing, primitive living skills, environmental awareness exercises, individual and group counseling, and solo time.

In the residential program, students reside in Paul and Cheri's large, comfortable and rustic cedar home on 10 acres adjacent to mountainous national forest land. The students are immersed in a program of country living, outdoor adventure, emotional growth, and academic pursuits in a public school setting.

Adolescents coming to Galena Ridge are typically those experiencing conflict in their homes and difficulty at school. Underlying issues may include low self esteem, lack of motivation, drug, alcohol or nicotine use and physical or sexual abuse. It is not an appropriate placement for boys who have a history of violence towards others, psychoses, sexual abuse perpetration, suicide attempts and high runaway risk.

As Clark says, "the boys accepted into our home and program will be those who are willing to be a part of a family environment, attend public school, address their own individual struggles or issues, and who have a desire to move forward in their lives."

Copyright 1993, Woodbury Reports, Inc. (This article may be reproduced without prior approval if the copyright notice and proper publication and author attribution accompanies the copy.)

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