Wilderness Therapy Program for Troubled Boys
Teenage boys reside in, while helping build and maintain, structurally sound rustic cabins located about a quarter mile (2 1/2 city blocks) from Shepherds Hill Academy’s main campus. The wilderness-like communities have no running water or electricity. All cabins are heated with wood burning stoves.
The Shepherds Hill Academy’s main campus provides fully functional amenities such as shower facilities, toilets, laundry machines, cafeteria and classrooms. Daily on campus, teens attend their academic classes, eat three healthy meals, and properly maintain personal hygiene.
The wilderness component is intentionally designed with a proven wilderness-like approach to healing. It brings teens out of their comfort zones, while providing the appropriate therapeutic challenges in a safe and structured environment. The environment is free of the negative cultural influences that impede healing and foster appetites for negative behaviors. Shepherds Hill Academy is a licensed Outdoor Child Care Program that meets all guidelines and regulations set forth by the state of Georgia. All teens are supervised 24/7 with a 5:1 student-to-staff ratio by the Boys Residential Team.
While at Shepherds Hill Academy, our Boys Wilderness Therapeutic Program provides your troubled teen boy with the opportunity to regularly engage in wholesome, healthy, exciting and relaxing on and off-campus activities.
Our 185 acre facility provides more than an adequate opportunity for your teen to experience virtually unlimited creative activities.
- Exercise and Game Room, Including Free Weights, Pool Table, Ping Pong, etc.
- Basketball, Soccer, Flag Football and a Myriad of Other Intramural Activities
- Cross-Country Jogging Trails
- In-Ground Swimming Pool with an Activity Pavilion
- Guitars, Drums and Other Instruments Available for Learning and Practicing
- Artistic Opportunities for Painting, Photography and Other Creative Activities
- Opportunities for Maintenance, Demolition and Construction Activities
Each month the students are given an off-campus activity. This means they will participate in any number of activities in the surrounding communities, which can include, but not limited to:
- Camping and Fishing
- Movie and Dinner
- Amateur and Professional Sporting Events
- Local Festivals
- Museums, Planetarium and Aquarium Visits
- Hiking near Parks, Lakes, Streams, and Waterfalls
While both boys and girls have similarly functioning programs, the Boys Wilderness Program differs slightly in its therapeutic model than that of the Girls Wilderness Program.
Change of Environment
The rustic living of the Wilderness Therapeutic Program provides your troubled teen boy with the challenge and adventure of living outside of his comfort zone. Living in a rustic environment affords your child the challenges of having no running water or electricity, chopping wood for heat, and no access to today’s technological conveniences.
Upon arrival, students begin to contribute to the maintenance, repair, and/or construction of one or more structures in their wilderness-like site. There is little to no use of power tools. This means your son will learn how to problem solve, all while using his hands, feet and back to construct safe and secure structures that are occupied and utilized by him and his peers.
The challenge of these building projects will bring confidence to your troubled teen. As he learns and continues to accomplish things beyond what he thought himself capable, he will grow in confidence and the healing will begin. This all transfers into greater expectations in behavior–especially as his heart begins to transform.
The Boys Wilderness Program focuses on community and team building. Every individual is expected to contribute to the group. This provides an opportunity for your teen to learn valuable team building skills. Other therapeutic components such as accountability meetings, Equine Therapy and low ropes course activities all teach relational skills that contribute to the healing process of a troubled teenager.