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Schools & Program Visits - Feb, 1997 Issue #44


Noxon, Montana
Larry or Sherry Culp

Visit report by Vicky Hartman, on May 31, 1996, staff at
Catherine Freer Wilderness Therapy Expeditions, Albany, Oregon

Loveland Farms provides a rural environment in NW Montana for teenage girls. These young women have low self esteem and are in need of a structured environment to gain some knowledge and skills around trusting adults, honesty, communication, themselves and their family. The girls must be able to function in a public school environment. 

The program consists of operating in the Culp family by participating in daily chores, public school, outdoor activities, one-on-one and group work. There is an emphasis on helping the young women gain the trust of adults and gain the skills necessary to re-integrate back into their families. Larry works closely with the parents in assisting them in understanding their role in the problems with their daughter’s behavior. I talked with a mother while I was there (her daughter was about to come home) and she had nothing but praise for the Culps, both in terms of the care her daughter had received as well as the changes she (Mom) was incorporating thanks to Larry’s interventions. 

The Culps also have a wilderness component, used as a primary assessment tool for the young women seeking long term placement at the Culps. While the new resident is out for 28 days, Larry and the other residents go out and meet them throughout their trek in an effort to create a bond between the “family” members. Sherry felt this time to be very important for the young woman to become successful at Loveland Farms. 

My impressions were positive. The home was comfortable, in a beautiful location, and the Culps were open and positive about their work and the young women in their care. They have two outbuildings where residents go to live (with other staff) when they are unable to function appropriately at the Culps. Life gets a little harder in each of those situations. I talked with a young woman while I was there. She was positive about her living situation, wanted to go home, but also saw that there was some work to do first. 

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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