Adirondack Leadership Expeditions
Adirondack Leadership Expeditions is a behavior modification program using the concept of wilderness therapy. The target group is teenagers between 13 and 17. The program was founded in 2003 .
The program is 45 days average. As a parent you should be aware that issuing clothes for the teenager is done outside, which can be very cold during the winter .
They use a level system, where the pressure of being put in a strange enviroment with no knowledge of a date of release combined with the feeling of banishment from their family and friends should make them break down during the first phase named "A" and accept their placement in the program.
The Levels are as following:
|Level||Program purpose||Focus of the detained teenager|
A typical day when hiking consist of:
|Wake up||Lunch||Hike||Set Up Camp|
|Personal hygiene||Group Processing||Hygiene|
|Pack up equipment||Dinner & Clean Up.|
|clean up campsite||Letter & Journal Writing|
|Group Processing Session / Hike / Experiential Activity||Group Debriefing Session|
|Individual Counseling||Quiet Time / Individual Counseling|
When the detained teenagers are not hiking they are put through a stict regimen of group therapy session as well as individual sessions with counselors. These therapeutic interventions are typically on Mondays and Wednesdays.
The detained teenager is restricted from all other means of communication than letters. The parents speak with a therapist over the phone once a week. At the end of the expedition the parents can choose to spend a day or two at the faciliy where they participate in a number of exercises with the teenager before they grace the teenager back into the family.
In the News
Because the program takes place in an forest environment, the risk of injuries is something to take into consideration. Rescuers from the local department know the name of the program .
Forest Rangers from the Department of Environmental Conservation were called out three times this month to rescue clients from a Saranac Lake-based wilderness program for troubled teens.
The neighbors are not too happy with the program. When some of the teenagers learn that they are not going home, but rather transferred to a private paid lockdown, some of do run away or become violent instead of breaking down. This has lead to some incidents, which are under investigation by the local city hall .
- Info: Program homepage
- Survivor group: Group for people, who has been at a wilderness program and have survived to tell their story, Myspace
- Survivor group: Adirondack Leadership Expeditions (ALE) almost killed me!, Facebook
- Survivor Group: Wilderness Program Graduates, Facebook
- Survivor Group: I Survived Wilderness, Facebook
- Forum: Aspen Forum on fornits
- Forum: adirondack leadership expeditions/ bromley brook school, a thread on Fornits webforum
- Forum: Ideas on where child has been taken..., a thread on Youthrights mentioning the program
- Forum: Aspen Education Group Programs - subforum on the message board of Fight Institutional Child Abuse Network (FICAN)
- Forum: Aspen - subforum on the message board of Community Alliance For the Ethical Treatment of Youth (CAFETY)
Watch organization status
This facility is on the watchlist of Human Earth Animal Liberation