Frequently Asked Questions
What is the average length of stay in the program?
The program is designed to be a 120-150 day experience. Most youth are able to complete the requirements of the program and be eligible for a successful graduation from the program within this time frame. Students are provided a workbook and all the assignments needed to complete the program upon arrival. Each day, students are provided guidance and counsel from their instructors and therapists in completing the requirements. Students that are motivated to change their behaviors and to take accountability for their problems tend to move through the program more rapidly than those student who are resistant to the therapy and unmotivated to change their behaviors.
WILL I SPEAK WITH MY CHILD DURING HIS TIME IN THE FIELD?
Much of your communication with your student will occur through written letters. Students are provided with a notebook and pen to write letters whenever they want. All letters written by the student are sent via upload
into your secure parent portal for your access. This typically occurs on Mondays and Thursdays. Parents are encouraged to work closely with their therapist in determining the content and frequency of letters sent to the student. As the student progresses and when the therapist deems it appropriate, family therapy sessions may occur via phone or Zoom using Starlink. Upon completion of the program, parents are invited to travel to Utah to participate in an overnight experience in the field with their student and to participate in a final face-to-face family therapy session.
What does a typical day consist of?
Students are busy from the moment they wake up in the morning to the time they crawl into their sleeping bag after dark. Students learn to take responsibility for every aspect of their well-being while in the field. Each student learns to ration their own food, plan their own menu, cook each meal for themselves, clean their own pot after each meal, care for their own gear, set up their own shelter each night, complete their daily group chores and organize their time to complete the program assignments. Whether it is digging a latrine, collecting firewood or hiking to a water source to collect water, students literally are engaged in positive, meaningful activity every waking second of their day. Students go to bed tired from a rigorous day of activity and rarely do we encounter students who have trouble sleeping because the demands of the program are so intense.
How far does a group hike each day?
Our groups hike to new campsites almost every day. These hikes can range from 2 to 8 miles per day. Hiking is an important aspect of the program because it provides students with the chance to push themselves physically and mentally. Learning to exercise and exert themselves physically allows youth to experience a “natural high” from the endorphins and neuro-chemicals the brain produces from physical exercise. Under the influence of this “natural high”, students learn to enjoy hiking as it provides them the opportunity to think and reflect on their situation. It also provides students the opportunity to explore the beautiful high desert and experience the beauty of nature.