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Mountain Homes Youth Ranch

Outdoor Therapeutic Program & Wilderness Program

Mountain Homes Youth Ranch Program Information

Gender: Coeducational
Ages: 12 - 17; 18-25
Grades: 5 - 12
Estimated Enrollment: 40
Length of Stay:
Program was founded in: 1996
Accreditations: Affiliations:

Mountain Homes Youth Ranch Contact Information

247 South Vernal Ave
Vernal, UT 84078
Phone: (435) 781-2450
Fax: (435) 781-2442
School Contact: Rob Caldwell
Alternative Contact: Rob Caldwell
Therapy Provided?: Yes

Program Description:

Mountain Homes Youth Ranch is a licensed therapeutic wilderness program in the state of Colorado. The program uses an outdoor setting to bring out behavioral issues in youth ages 12 – 18. Youth learn to make positive choices throughout their stay in the program as a means to experience natural positive consequences for themselves during their time at Mountain Homes as well as upon returning home.

Our Program
At the MOUNTAIN HOMES YOUTH RANCH, children can find themselves again through reestablishing important basic principles of behavior in their lives. They will learn to view themselves, their surroundings, and others in a new and different perspective; one in which they will see themselves as valued and meaningful contributors.

The MHYR program is divided into three phases: Beginning, Advanced, and Ranch.

In the Beginning phase, participants learn the interdependency of nature's resources, personal skill and knowledge, and responsible and cooperative behavior for the sustaining of life's basic needs. As participants learn ancient Indian skills using the resources of nature, they begin to develop an awareness of themselves regarding their abilities and the values of cooperation and responsibility to the community in meeting basic life needs.

The Advanced phase of the program continues to place youth in a camping community where everyone shares responsibility for community living equally. Emphasis is placed on the interdependency of community members through using skills learned in the Beginning phase in a cooperative effort to sustain peaceful and productive life in a family setting. Participants continue individual and group counseling as new perspectives on old values and assumptions begin to become internalized.

The Ranch phase of the program emphasizes working with the family group as a unit. The student learns the value of trust & Integrity, and that within the unit each persons actions affect everyone. The skills learned in the first two phases help teach the student independence and leadership, which they utilize in their scholastic venues such as GED, High School and College correspondence courses. This phase participants continue to communicate directly with their parents in a conference call designed to work on communication and integration back into their home environment. During the final two-days of Ranch, parents are given the opportunity to attend the graduation, and parenting seminar and are invited to tour the on-site facilities.

MHYR operates on a Beautiful 15,000 acre working cattle ranch, in northwestern Colorado. This private deeded property has been in this ranching family for four generations. They have carved their homes, and lifestyles out of the rugged high desert mountain estate. Our program operates in co-existence with the operating ranch, and wildlife, such as Deer Elk,and Coyotes. Whether spending time in the high mountain meadows surrounded by the Pine and Aspen forest of summer, or the tan buttes, and Pinion Juniper forest of winter, the students are surrounded by beauty.

As the Clinical Director for Mountain Homes Youth Ranch I am committed to the success of your child. I am not just an employee at Mountain Homes, but have ownership. My family and I have a strong personal investment in assuring our program works. I have combined my extensive experience working with at-risk teens and my appreciation of the unique nature of every child to create a clinical approach at Mountain Homes that has a significant and lasting impact on each child I work with.

An individualized treatment plan is developed for each youth that enrolls at Mountain Homes Youth Ranch. I work with the parents, the child’s therapist, and others that can offer insight into the child’s background and personality, to target the child’s destructive behaviors. The treatment plan is articulated very thoroughly. It is a comprehensive assessment, a blueprint to provide clear-cut goals and objectives to the family, the student, and the staff at Mountain Homes. During their stay at Mountain Homes each youth is involved in a variety of therapeutic situations designed to teach proven skills to overcome their specific challenges and as the student progresses in the program, long and short term goals are updated regularly. Your child’s treatment team meets weekly, or more often if needed, to gauge the effectiveness of our plan and make any needed changes.

As a wilderness therapist I have had the pleasure of leading countless young people to a more rewarding path. The kids I work with have difficulty with a variety of issues. Many of them display negative attitudes, are apathetic, impulsive, ungovernable, irresponsible, have poor self-esteem, and lack accountability. In most cases I find their interpersonal relationships have been based, not on mutual trust and respect, but on manipulation and exploitation. I enjoy being a part of their experience at Mountain Homes, watching as they learn to talk things out, rather than act them out. The metamorphosis as they learn about responsibility, integrity, self-respect, self-discovery, and working as a team is a beautiful thing to see. Helping these kids find their true path and bringing forward the wonderful traits all of them possess is very rewarding.

I am also skilled with specific diagnosis such as AD(H)D, ODD, Depression, Mild Tourette Syndrome, Conduct Disorder, Bi-Polar, Attachment Disorder, Anxiety/Panic, and Social Phobias. From working with at-risk teens with such a variety of issues and disorders I have learned not every student is right for Mountain Homes, and there are some disorders that could become worse in a wilderness setting. Your admissions counselor will work closely with you and the clinical team to determine if our program would be right for your child. We encourage parents to discuss the possibility of wilderness therapy with their child’s home therapist as well.

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