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New Perspectives - Apr, 2001 Issue #80 

 Dancing Moon Expeditions
L. Gay Miller – Owner
Chinook, Montana
406-357-4104 or 406-357-3604
FAX: 406-357-3604
[New Perspective] 

Dancing Moon Expeditions is a 25-day wilderness course that works closely with families, their educational consultants, and therapists, to provide the most comprehensive assessment available for addressing the needs of struggling/challenging children. Dancing Moon is based on the philosophy that we carry within ourselves both the desire and ability for our own creation of optimal wellness. We feel students and families are most likely to find that place within themselves both individually and collectively when they are an integral part of the assessment and interventions. 

The courses incorporate this philosophical and therapeutic approach with methods that provide participants with a sense of personal investment in their own lives as well as the daily use of skills for practical application of that investment. The uniqueness of the Dancing Moon approach is a process that elicits a child’s ability to assess their own needs honestly and includes the child as an integral part of the assessment process. Parents need to be the ultimate decision makers in a child’s need for placement. However, children invested in their own and their family’s wellness can help parents make informed, effective choices about determining the ingredients necessary for that wellness. 

Dancing Moon Expeditions was created by Dan Ward and L. Gay Miller after nearly twenty years of work in the fields of adolescent mental health and outdoor experiences. Dan has designed, implemented, and instructed outdoor education and wilderness experiences for private and corporate residential programs for nearly twenty years. His knowledge of programs, adolescents and families is extensive. Dan’s first priority in the field is safety and his record for providing safety is exemplary. 

Gay is owner and therapist of Dancing Moon Ranch Co., a therapeutic private residential facility for girls. Gay has a Masters in Social Work and has provided mental health services in both residential and wilderness settings, as well as privately, for eighteen years. 

Other members of the Dancing Moon team are Hillary Maxwell, Colleen Overcast, and Mischelle Fisher. Hillary is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, who has worked in the mental health field as therapist, consultant and educator for fifteen years. She is the owner of Northfork Wellness, a private practice. 

Colleen Overcast provides the educational assessments for DME participants. Colleen is a certified teacher who has been teaching for twenty-three years. She is also the Educational Coordinator for Dancing Moon Ranch and is experienced in the needs of families with challenging children. 

Mischelle Fisher provides the administrative support and coordinates all the details necessary to bring together the people and information for the assessment process. She has worked in the mental health field for ten years. 

Dancing Moon Expeditions are based in Eastern Montana. Trip size is limited to four participants who are accompanied by two staff members. Size limitation increases both emotional and physical safety as well as allowing for a wider variety of individually based interventions and methods. In addition, frequent contact with the family, other providers, and educational consultants helps ensure that all information necessary is accessed to assure a quality experience. 

Trips are scheduled monthly. Crisis care for students needing to be held prior to a trip can often be provided. 

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