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Wendigo Lake Expeditions

Wilderness Program

Wendigo Lake Expeditions Program Information

Gender: Boys Only
Ages: 14-17
Grades: 9-12
Estimated Enrollment: 9
Length of Stay:
Program was founded in: 1998
Accreditations: Affiliations:

Wendigo Lake Expeditions Contact Information

P.O. Box 2000
Scio, OR 97374
Phone: (705) 386-2376 x201
Fax: (705) 386-2345
School Contact: Abby Matchette, MSW
Alternative Contact: Stephen Glass
Therapy Provided?: Yes

Program Description:

Wendigo Lake Expeditions (WLE) operates a 9-bed residential adventure therapy program. Wilderness expedition, challenge course activities, school, and interdependent responsibility and accountability within the group are core components of the program.

Wendigo Lake Expeditions is Canada's leading provider of therapeutic adventure wilderness therapy residential programs for youth with a range of behavioral and emotional difficulties. Difficulties like substance abuse, family conflict, defiance, depression, poor grades, lack of motivation, manipulations and negative peer relationships. The entire program integrates an advanced cognitive-behavioral wilderness therapy approach designed to teach and reinforce five core values: Responsibility, Effort, Attitude, Community and Honor - R.E.A.C.H.

Wendigo Lake Expeditions Inc (WLE) is a therapeutic adventure wilderness program which has operated continuously since 1971.Wendigo Lake Expeditions specializes in working with male adolescents 13 to 17 with the following profile of behaviours: substance abuse, family conflict, defiance toward adults/authority, depression, poor grades, lack of motivation, low self-esteem, entitlement & manipulation and negativity toward peer relationships.

Students are under the professional care of well-trained staff: clinician, qualified instructors, teachers and other staff members - 24-hours a day, seven days a week. Instructors serve as role models... someone to trust and build a positive relationship with. Crews are supported by a motivated staff team of seven instructors plus a teacher, support staff, program supervisors and by an organizational culture where the safety and the well-being of each student is of paramount importance.

Program Highlights

• Operates a wilderness based, adventure therapy residential program for male youth between the ages of 13 to 17. (13 year old boys can be accepted into the program on a case by case basis.)

• The main campus is situated on the edge of the beautiful and world renowned Algonquin Park – Ontario’s jewel located 3 hours north of Toronto, Ontario or 4 hours north of Buffalo, New York.

• College & university-educated field instructors (one of the highest retention rates in adventure therapy industry). High staff/student ratio.

• Experienced management team and school board accredited teachers.

• WLE’s mandate is to provide an environment that is designed to promote the development of the attitudes and skills necessary to lead a pro-social life as a responsible and accountable citizen.

• Outcomes are promoted through five core values continuously reinforced throughout the R.E.A.C.H. program.
Admission Process
Initiating Your Referral

A parent/guardian, case manager or educational consultant may initiate the referral to Wendigo Lake Expeditions' R.E.A.C.H. program.

A referral should include the following information:

*Referral Form
*Psychological and/or Educational Assessment (if available)
*Any other relevant reports about the youth being referred

Referrals will be responded to within three working days. An assessment interview with the student and referral source will then be scheduled for appropriate referrals.

Cost of Service

An important consideration for a parent/agency considering a referral to the R.E.A.C.H. program is cost. The program rates are highly competitive to standard group care programs of comparable quality.

Guidelines for Selection:
-Adolescent male youth (13 - 17 years of age).
-Motivation to attend the program - is NOT a requirement, but is preferable.

This intensive, therapeutic adventure program offers an excellent placement option where the youth's behaviour has led him to become unmanageable within the parental home, a foster home or group care placement and the objective is to provide the young person with an environment that focuses on the development of pro-social skills, attitude and improved self-confidence to meet life's challenges.

A discussion with the Admissions Counselor is recommended if the referred youth:

-is assessed as a high risk of AWOL
-has a history of setting fires
-has severe food allergies
-has a life-threatening allergy to insect bites. (He may not be accepted into the program April 1st to October 31 st)
-is a non-swimmer. He may not be accepted into the program between April 1 and October 31
-does not pass the medical examination (i.e. - deemed medically unfit to engage in a physically demanding program by a medical doctor)
-has a history of being assaultive against authority figures or a protracted history of highly destructive conduct, serious mental illness, recent suicidal behaviour or exceptionally low cognitive capabilities.

Medical Examination - a part of the Admission Process

Each youth will undergo a medical examination conducted by a Physician prior to acceptance into the program (see Medical Information and Consent form) and signed off by the Physician and parents/guardian. ( Ontario children are exempt from third party billing for these medical exams.)

The final step in admitting a student to the program is based on a review of the referral information and results of an interview. Other factors considered include program capacity and current group dynamics within the student groups.

The student may either be transported to program site by the parent/guardian or arrangements may be made with Wendigo Lake Expeditions to provide intake transportation.

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