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Posted: Feb 6, 2007, 11:25

New Perspectives


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Albion, Michigan
Norm Ostrum, Director of Admissions

Review by Judi Bessette

Norm Ostrum, Director of Admissions for the Montcalm School for Boys, has announced that the Montcalm Outdoor Challenge Program is ready to accept students. Like the Montcalm Schools, the program is guided by a set of core values based on the principles of Positive Peer Culture and places a strong emphasis on relationships as the key to happiness and success in life. Typical students are present with behavioral, emotional and/or substance abuse problems. Other valid reasons for admission include Asperger's Syndrome, family conflict, ADD/ADHD/attention issues, learning disabilities/differences, passively non-compliant, oppositional, substance abuse, other behavioral issues.

Located on 350 wooded acres adjacent to the Montcalm School for Boys, the campus offers both outdoor and indoor rock climbing, ropes courses and has a lake for swimming, canoeing and fishing. This 60-day co-ed program for 12 - 18 year olds is a base camp model and offers bi-weekly three-to-five day wilderness trek experiences. Outdoor activities are run by MSWs with additional training and experience in adventure therapy.

Academics are an integral part of the program. Classes are offered three to five days each week, with classes offered based on individual student's needs. The academic program will keep students who are on track in school up to date and will help students who are behind catch up. The Outdoor Challenge also offers group and individual counseling as well as a family component. A consulting psychiatrist is available as needed.

The Montcalm Schools and the Outdoor Challenge are part of Starr Commonwealth, a pioneer and leader in child welfare practices and therapeutic treatment of troubled youth since 1913.

[The information in this New Perspective was gathered by our Research Affiliate, Judi Bessette, based on a phone interview with Norm Ostrum, Admissions Director and the Montcalm website.]


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