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Ridge Creek

Therapeutic Wilderness Program

Ridge Creek Program Information

Gender: Coeducational
Ages: 13 to 17
Grades: 7 to 12
Estimated Enrollment: 4 to 12 in a group
Length of Stay:
Program was founded in: 2001
Accreditations: Affiliations:

Ridge Creek Contact Information

830 Hidden Lake Road
Dahlonega, GA 30533
Phone: (706) 867-1720
Fax: (706) 864-5826
School Contact: Jeffrey S. Holloway, MSW
Alternative Contact: Jeffrey S. Holloway, MSW
Therapy Provided?: Yes

Program Description:

The primary mission of Ridge Creek is to provide behavioral assessment and stabilization services to adolescents 13 – 17 years of age through a highly clinical 26-day therapeutic wilderness leadership program. Ridge Creek utilizes a base-camp wilderness intervention model that incorporates formal psychotherapy, leadership development, and adventure programming. It provides an opportunity for adolescents to think without being mired in the distractions and traps that ordinarily surround them. The goals are to help them succeed in life by considering alternatives to their negative, self-destructive behaviors, by developing confidence and esteem, and by gaining practical leadership experience.

Ridge Creek students may struggle with issues of authority, disrespect, manipulation, substance abuse, anger management, self-esteem, and/or motivation. The majority of students exhibit behaviors that fit the profile of Oppositional Defiant Disorder, though they do not have to be diagnosed as such. Adolescents who are actively suicidal, or who are sexual offenders are not appropriate for the program.

Clinical services include a minimum of 25 hours of formal group psychotherapy facilitated by masters level psychotherapists, individualized treatment plans, full psycho-educational testing and assessment, psychiatric evaluation, psychotropic medication administration and monitoring, and complete follow-up placement and discharge recommendations. Academic services include 35 hours of study/tutorial time supervised by certified teachers, and 2 full credits that are certified by the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges (1 credit in Environmental Science, .5 credit in Outdoor Education, and .5 credit in Mental/Social Health). Field training includes CPR certification, sub-alpine mountaineering, land navigation, weather reading, Leave No-Trace outdoor ethics, high and low ropes courses, leadership development, and primitive camping. Dormitories with bathrooms and laundry facilities are available to students when at base-camp. Students are not deprived of proper food, sleep or hygiene. All equipment and clothing are provided and included in the program cost. Financial-aid is available through need-based scholarships.

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