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WWASP/Teen Help Debate click here

By: Steve Deering, Parent
March 21, 2001

Mr. Woodbury, 

I just came across your electronic newsletter and saw this item about the WWASP debate. My name is Steve Deering. My son Christopher has been at Spring Creek Lodge in Montana since June of 2000. He entered the program at 17 years and 10 months old. The Spring Creek Lodge program has saved his life with no doubt in my mind. After a lot of emotional turmoil and trauma and drama, he decided on his own after only two months there to stay until he was finished. He is still at Spring Creek and is scheduled to graduate from both high school and the program in May 2001. It will be nine months after his 18th birthday when he could have left of his own accord and 11 months since he first went there. Your WWASP and Teen Help Debate article really brought home the type of program WWASP is and why it worked for Chris. The punishment and treatment approaches that we tried before he went definitely did not and would not work for Chris. The WWASP emotional growth, tight structure, program with a strong emphasis on personal accountability and working choices has been excellent for Chris. 

The overall goal of WWASP is to create whole and healthy families. This is one of the big differences about the WWASP program. It requires the involvement, work, learning, and training of the parents through off-site seminars. In our case, Chris' older 19- year-old brother was also required by us to attend the outside seminars and has made fantastic progress through the seminars alone. Sean's comment after the first seminar was that it was the first time in his life that he felt adults were being honest. With what we have learned through a series of experiential seminars, our lives have changed very much for the better. The family involvement and training this past year will be crucial to our success when Chris comes home. 

I support the WWASP program 100 percent. It has worked miracles for our family and I have seen similar positive results in hundreds of other families going through a similar journey. I would be pleased to be a positive reference for WWASP at any time. I will be passing a copy of this email on to some of my WWASP friends. You may experience some additional positive feedback. 

By the way, I have never received any tuition breaks for influencing people to place their kids in WWASP. The one time we were close to placing someone we offered the tuition break (finder's fee) to the prospective family. Beyond that, or after our son finishes, if I had the opportunity to receive a finders fee, I will turn it over to the Landre Foundation that provides financial assistance to financially strapped WWASP families that already have kids in the program. The non-profit Landre Foundation was started by the Dad of a boy that was pulled from the program before he was done and later committed suicide. His family founded this group and promotes donations and fund raising activities to save the lives of kids that would otherwise have to leave the program before they are ready due to lack of funds. 

Thank you for all the work you do for young people and families. I ordered and received your summary of various programs around the country the day before we sent Chris to Spring Creek. We were in crisis and I was encouraged by your comments on your positive experiences at the sister program at Cross Creek in Utah when you visited there a number of years ago. I challenge you to do another program visit at Spring Creek Lodge in Montana. I believe you would be extremely impressed with the endless love, patience, and wisdom of the staff and the awesome success that the students have there. 

With honest sincerity and love for all the people who make a difference for our teens in crisis. 

Steve Deering

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