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Opinion & Essays - Dec, 1997 Issue


Dear Lon:

I just had to drop you a note to tell you how much I was impressed by your report. It is one of the most intelligent, through, thoughtful and sensitive resources I’ve seen in a long time. It’s quite difficult to balance the academics and philosophical well.

Margaret King Ph.D., Educational and Career Counseling.
Fairfield, Conneticut. 

(A parent’s letter to Darrel McOmber of The SageWalk Outdoor School

Oct. 4, 1997 Dear Darrel: 

It was good to see you, Joan and everyone this past weekend. We are just thrilled with _____ and her progress. She was like a different person. We had a delightful time with her and we can’t wait to have her back with us. The days went by so fast, but it was one of the best times we have had with any of the kids in years. 

She seems as determined to do well in the school as she was in the wilderness. I think you will find her to be an excellent student. Finally she sees how satisfying it can be to really do as well as you can. She will be pushing through those courses in record time. 

I am very pleased that you all have decided to let _____ go back out into the field as a peer staff. She is very excited about that prospect and it will be an extra incentive for her to get through the studies. 

We are both very thankful that we came upon you and your wilderness program. You are all very caring and special people. We were impressed with everyone we met.” 

S/ a midwest father. 

A Thanks for a family that went onto your web site. Great job! 

Anngela Ritter, Wilderness Quest 


Thank you for being there. You saved my daughter’s life and saved me from completely flipping out. 

A Georgia Parent 


Great site! I am a high school media specialist interested in working with at-risk youth. 

HH, South Carolina 


In the April issue I read with special interest your well- written “Transition Schools”. I, too, attended the SBSA meetings in Lynchburg, and I especially liked your summary sentence, referring to students attending “special needs schools” .. “In other words, they need to be ‘re-parented’ rather than ‘cured’”. Well put! In my work I always refer to such schools as “schools with a two-track program, i.e. the emotional growth program along with the academic”. 

John Oliver Rich, Educational Consultant 
Orlando, Florida 

September 3, 1997

August, 1996, my husband spent close to 100 hours (without exaggeration) on the phone trying to find, what we hoped, would be the “best” facility to place our daughter in. She was as out of control as a 16 year old could be, short of crashing. He talked to nearly 80 different people, dozens and dozens of hospitals, treatment facilities, schools, etc. that encompassed 2- 3 countries. We had VERY specific qualifications that were necessities for our daughter and for the institution we’d hoped to find. His effort was enormous and his search was exhausting and relentless. Through his networking, he called you. You didn’t refer him to one of your associates. YOU talked to him yourself for the longest time, gathering information and suggesting various places to check out..... We shared and compared notes and decided I needed to check out the school my husband liked far and above all others of his and my investigation. So he took me up to MONTANA, introduced me to the staff that he had met, gave me a tour of the campus, introduced me to some of the students and within 24 hours, not only had we found the type of school that fit OUR criteria for our daughter, (needless to say, she fit their criteria for acceptance), but I fell in love with Montana itself..... To jump ahead, ____ has been at Mission Mountain School one year tomorrow and I can’t thank you enough. The change in her is nothing short of a miracle. She’s happy, she likes herself, she loves the life she’s learning and living, she’s AWARE and is feeling emotions. She wants to continue the hard work because she likes how she’s turning into a happy, healthy responsible young lady of almost 18 years. My husband and I fell in love with Montana so much, we hope to move there in the near future and possibly form some kind of group to help support the parents of the girls. There are so many parents and family members that don’t understand addiction and the problems associated with it. Having been around 12 step programs since 1983, we feel we can, at least, lend an ear or a shoulder or steer them toward printed information that could be useful. THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts for helping us to save our daughter’s life. 

A Georgia Parent 

Copyright © 1997, 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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