Adirondack Leadership Expeditions
Adirondack Leadership Expeditions is a character-building wilderness program for troubled teens, based in New York State. Adirondack specializes in helping at-risk youth ages 13 -17 who are experiencing family conflict, isolation, drug or alcohol addiction or low self-esteem. Adirondack Leadership Expeditions promotes personal growth for teenagers with defiant behavior, attention deficit, learning differences, and school failure.
The Wilderness Program
Set in the beautiful Adirondack mountains near Saranac Lake, New York, Adirondack's wilderness program for troubled teenagers offers individualized treatment plans, flexible lengths of stay, master's and doctorate level counselors, individual and group counseling, and a powerful family involvement component.
Adirondack Leadership Expeditions follows a nurturing approach that helps teenagers struggling with behavior or academics to address personal issues in a safe environment. This wilderness treatment program helps them identify self-defeating behaviors and move toward positive achievement of their goals. The program aims to develop leadership qualities in your son or daughter and Adirondack's wilderness program serves as an excellent alternative to boot camps. Moving to the wilderness is a significant life change. It removes students from their "emotional comfort zone" and requires different skills to care for themselves. The simplicity of the wilderness environment helps them recognize the results of their behavioral choices and encourages them to try different coping strategies.
The teenagers who attend Adirondack Leadership Expeditions are generally bright, creative adolescents who have fallen into negative behavior patterns. These teens may show signs of slipping grades and poor academic performance, hostility toward authority figures, poor choices of friends and peer groups, and other behaviors that, if they continue, could sabotage their success in the future. Although parents may not feel they have a truly troubled teen on their hands, these signs of trouble may become more evident if the teen is allowed to continue on a negative path. A program such as Adirondack Leadership Expeditions allows teens experiencing these troubles to explore their self-defeating behaviors and develop positive coping skills. Many parents equate Adirondack wilderness programs to a "rite of passage" -- something that is missing in modern society.
Note: Adirondack Leadership Expeditions is not intended to serve adjudicated youth, and has no state contracts to do so. The program does not accept students who are a risk to themselves or others, exhibit habitual patterns of violence outside of the home, or who need drug detoxification.
- Individual and Group Counseling
- Daily Processing Groups
- Master's and Doctorate-level Counselors
- Flexible Lengths of Stay
- Rolling Admission
- Weekly Counseling Sessions conducted via telephone between the counselor and family
- Parent Education Program
- Clothing, Gear & Equipment Provided
- Small Groups & High Staff to Student Ratio
- Medical Staff Live On-site
The student focuses on accepting placement. The support and encouragement of other kids already invested in the program is used to help the new student buy into the program. In order to progress through this phase students must demonstrate a willingness to accept responsibility for their basic health and safety needs. Participants begin learning new communication skills.
The student focuses on recognizing their habits and patterns and becoming responsible for their choices. Students begin gaining insight and taking accountability for why they are here. During this phase their strengths and areas of growth are assessed. This phase is where they really begin to make connections between their choices and consequences and develop an understanding of how their life’s experiences have influenced their choices.
Students focus on relationship skills. They practice teamwork and implement new communication strategies. This phase is where they develop insight into how their choices and actions directly affect any group of which they are a member. This insight is developed through a series of opportunities where kids receive and provide feedback to each other in a structured manner.
Students focus on internalizing healthy coping skills and generalizing them to other settings. This phase is where we help kids bridge their insights and successes here to what their challenges were at home. Participants reinforce positive skills and find success through individual and group leadership opportunities.
Family involvement is an integral part of the program. Parents participate in weekly progress sessions with their child’s counselor, engage in letter writing, and complete parent education materials. Parents also participate in parenting workshops online.
Families are invited out to the field for their child’s graduation where they will have the opportunity to observe their child demonstrate both their wilderness and personal growth skills.
The goal of Adirondack Leadership Expeditions is to begin the process of opening the lines of communication between parents and their struggling adolescent. Parents who have participated in our program report that they see a significant improvement in their child's ability and willingness to interact in a positive and constructive manner.
To speak with an Admissions Counselor call toll-free 877-830-7020
Page last updated Jun 02, 2011