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SUWS Adolescent and Youth Programs

Outdoor Therapeutic Program

SUWS Adolescent and Youth Programs Program Information

Gender: Coeducational / All Girl / All Boy
Ages: Youth - 11 to 13; Adolescent - 14 to 18
Grades: n/a
Estimated Enrollment: 8 per group
Length of Stay:
Program was founded in: 1981
Accreditations: Affiliations:

SUWS Adolescent and Youth Programs Contact Information

911 Preacher Creek Rd
Shoshone, ID 83352
Phone: 888-879-7897
Fax: (208) 886-2153
School Contact: Vince Schmidt
Alternative Contact: Kathy Rex
Therapy Provided?: Yes

Program Description:

Operating in southern IDHO since 1981, SUWS is a licensed treatment program that uses a desert environment in an intervention focused on assessment, wilderness therapy, and a strong clinical team to help struggling teens. Utilizing a “search and rescue” metaphor, the goal of the Adolescent Program is to empower adolescents with opportunities for growth as they rediscover their sense of purpose and strengthen their connections to self, family, and community. Begun in 1997, the Youth Program promotes a solid foundation of personal self-worth and value from which students and their families rediscover hope through positive reference experiences.

Since 1981, SUWS Adolescent and Youth Programs has specialized in helping troubled and defiant teens to overcome their behavioral and emotional problems. Operating in the rugged, beautiful Bennett Hills of southern Idaho, SUWS programs help young people to identify and work through internal conflicts and emotional obstacles that have kept them from responding to parental efforts, schools, and treatment. SUWS accepts boys and girls ages 11 to 17. These are children who are inherently good and have the ability to be successful, but because of unhealthy misperceptions about themselves, they have limited access to their own abilities and strengths.

SUWS licensed wilderness programs provide families with safe and immediate intervention options feature a highly effective “search and rescue” metaphor, individualized treatment plans, and flexible length of stay. The wilderness environment and experiential learning help students recognize and build upon their own sense of self-worth as they learn the value of helping others.

SUWS wilderness programs excel at addressing the underlying cause of negative, unhealthy behaviors and working through impasses brought about by internal struggles, rather than confronting outward behaviors only. Common behaviors, symptoms, and diagnoses that manifest negative feelings and beliefs include the following:


Angry Teen
Defiant Teen
Sad/Grieving Teen
Manipulative Teen
Teen Who is Failing in School
Rebellious Teen
Out-of-Control Teen
Impulsive Teen
Teen Using Alcohol / Drugs
Teen Running Away


Low self-esteem
Mood Disorders
Attachment Difficulties

SUWS employees are guided by the principles: Youth and Family, Growth, Teamwork, and Service

Wilderness intervention programs for troubled teens and defiant teens

A proud member of the Aspen Education Group, serving at-risk youth for over 25 years. Aspen offers wilderness programs for troubled teens, boarding schools for troubled teens, therapeutic summer camps for troubled teens, and residential treatment centers for troubled teens.

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