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New Perspectives - Mar, 2002 Issue #91 

Ashley Valley Wilderness
Vernal, Utah
Ralph Davis,
Admissions Director
435-781-2450 or 866-781-2450

Ashley Valley Wilderness began in February of 2002, to provide troubled and at-risk adolescents with experiences that promote the development of self-discipline, assurance, problem solving skills, and a healthy lifestyle. The program is designed to allow students to work on issues at their own pace, recognizing that for lasting change to occur, there must be a true, “from the heart” desire to change. Positive reinforcement, experiential learning, therapeutic intervention, and improved family communication skills are all used to help guide the students to break the disruptive cycles in their lives.

They have a “very effective co-ed program that allows a student to interact with co-ed peers and address any issues that might arise in this area. Strict guidelines, staff training and a 3 to 1 student to staff ratio insures high standards.” Academics as well as safety- oriented summer and winter activities, including camping, environmental education, hiking, and life skills and all included in this program, in addition to individual, family and group therapy.

Students of Ashley Valley Wilderness receive a diagnostic assessment of a set of symptoms, a seven-tiered level system, individual and group therapy, and a school curriculum that is currently waiting for accreditation from the Utah State Board of Education. Their outdoor classroom provides a diverse physical setting that allows students to study the earth layers and fossils, learn about the stars and the local plants and animals.

Both their Youth Program and their Adult Program have a Tepee Group that serves as an orientation, designed to help its members start to be proactive, and to start taking responsibility for their lives, becoming accountable and dependable. The advanced group, the Hogan, helps students master bow drill skills, build a shelter and a easier to carry loads, called a travois, play adventure games, hike, and learn self-discipline, self-esteem, teamwork, and self-motivational skills. The goal is to help students develop self-confidence, leadership, excellence, and most of all INTEGRITY.

Students who are appropriate for this program may have low self- esteem, Attention Deficit Disorder, relationship problems, manipulative behaviors, inappropriate relationships, substance abuse, scholastic failure, defiance, lack of motivation, and/or need to learn anger management. They cannot accept students with eating disorders or those who are sexual perpetrators, pregnant, severely emotionally disturbed, have severe learning disabilities, or if their primary language is other than English.

Their Field Personnel are First aid and CPR Certified and trained both in Wilderness Survival Skills and Insights, a program to help in their personal development. All the staff have a “great background of previous experience and a sound background of Wilderness Safety.”

PO Box 1671 | Bonners Ferry, ID 83805 | 208-267-5550
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