Lone Star Expeditions

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Lone Star Expeditions was a behavior modification program using the concept of wilderness therapy. The target group was teenagers between 13 and 17. The program was founded in 2002 [1].

Program

The program was 28 days minimum.

In the early years they kept about 8 detainees in their groups, but in October 2008 they announced that they will encrease groups to 10 teenagers.

Phases

They used a level system, where the newly arrived teenager was kept from other the other detained teenagers during the settler phase until they broke down and accepted their banishment from their family and friends.

The Levels are as following:

Level Program purpose Focus of the detained teenager
Settler Assesment Accept their situation
Pioneer Habits & Patterns Personal responsibility
Explorer Skill development & internalization Relationship skills
Tracker Ownership Ledership

Each week consisted of 5 days of hiking and camping. One days was done with ropes courses and finally a day in a cabin where they could wash their clothes and take a shower.

October 2008 they announced that they will continue to use this 5-1-1 model and therapy will conducted on the day where the groups are conducting rope courses in order to reduce costs.

Hiking days

A typical day when hiking consist of:

Morning Noon Afternoon Evening
Wake up Arrive at new campsite Set up camp Camp chores
Personal hygiene Hand washing and lunch preparation Academic work or therapeutic assignments Personal Hygiene.
Breakfast Lunch games and possibly crafts Dinner preparation and clean up.
Pack up equipment and clean up campsite following Leave No Trace principles Lunch clean-up Phase work Letter and journal writing.
Hike Group processing session
Crafts
reading or personal time
Bed


Therapy Days

When the detained teenagers were not hiking they were put through a stict regimen of group therapy session as well as individual sessions with counselors. These therapeutic interventions were typically on Mondays and Wednesdays.

Communication

The detained teenager was restricted from all other means of communication than letters. The parents spoke with a therapist over the phone once a week. At the end of the expedition the parents could choose to spend a day or two at the faciliy where they participated in a number of exercises with the teenager before they graced the teenager back into the family.

In the news

One of the detained teenager - Matthew Meyers died september 19, 2004. The case number at Trinity County District Court is 19631 and it was filed on July 31, 2006 [2] [3].

In January 2007 the program have received a warning for not testning the water quality according to regulations [4].

October 2008 they announced that they would lower rates and reduce their clinical focus [5].

March 2009 it was announced that they will close April 6 [6]

External links

Info pages

Survivor groups

Message boards

References

  1. Info about the program on NATSAP
  2. Lone Star Expeditions - Thread about the death - Fornits Webforum
  3. Former Alvin High student dies at camp, The Facts, September 23 2004
  4. Written warning
  5. Lone Star Reduces Tuition By Reducing Clinical Focus, press release on strugglingteen.com - industry marketing firm
  6. Aspen Education Group - Returns To Its Roots, press-release on strugglingteen.com - industry marketing firm