Outdoor Therapy Program for Troubled Girls
The female students reside in 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 main campus of Shepherds Hill Academy provides all the functional amenities such as shower facilities, toilets, laundry machines, cafeteria, and fully functional classrooms. Here, the girls daily attend their classes, eat three healthy meals, and maintain personal hygiene.
The outdoor component is intentionally-designed and a proven approach to healing. It brings troubled teens out of their comfort zones, while providing appropriate 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 and meets all rules 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 Girls Residential Team.
While at Shepherds Hill Academy, our Girls Outdoor Program provides your daughter with the opportunity to regularly engage in wholesome, healthy, exciting and relaxing on and off-campus activities.
Our 86 acre facility provides more than an adequate opportunity for your daughter to experience virtually unlimited creative activities. Some of these activities include:
- Seasonal Gardening
- 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
Each month the students are given an off-campus activity. This means they will participate in any number of activities in the surrounding community, which can include, but are not limited to:
- Camping and Fishing
- Movie and Dinner
- Amateur and Professional Sporting Events
- Local Festivals and Community Affairs
- Museums, Planetarium and Aquarium visits
- Hiking Near Parks, Lakes, Streams, and Waterfalls
While both boys and girls have similarly functioning programs, the Girls Outdoor Program differs slightly in its therapeutic model than that of the Boys Outdoor Program.
Change of Environment
The rustic living of the Outdoor Program provides troubled teen girls with the challenge of living outside of their comfort zone. Living in a rustic environment affords your teenager the challenges of having no running water or electricity, collecting wood for heat, and no access to today’s technological conveniences.
While in the Girls Outdoor Wilderness Program, your daughter will have the opportunity to help tend a seasonal garden from start to finish. Teens utilize the greenhouse to start plants from seeds while preparing the soil for planting and harvesting produce.
In addition, your teen learns to take care of the Shepherds Hill Academy barn by collecting chicken eggs, feeding a variety of animals and learning how to sheer sheep and llamas. Bee-keeping, sewing and quilting are other wholesome projects in which your daughter participates.
The Girls Outdoor Program utilizes a self-reliance therapeutic strategy that brings confidence to your child. Your daughter will learn that she can accomplish things beyond what she thought herself capable of accomplishing. This learning, confidence, and self-esteem all transfer into greater expectations in behavior–especially as her heart begins to transform.
The Girls Outdoor Program focuses on community and team building. Every individual is expected to contribute to the group. This provides an opportunity for your troubled teen girl 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.