To give you an idea of the types of students you will find at Crossroads Academy, they typically will have experienced some level of substance abuse prior to being sent to the wilderness. Also prior to their wilderness experience, most of our students will have been doing little or no schoolwork, will have been lying to just about anyone, and will have been oppositional towards most authority figures. Typical diagnoses that the students coming to Crossroads will have been given include substance abuse disorders, oppositional defiant disorder, mood disorders, ADHD, and/or learning disorders. While your son may have struggled at home with some of these serious issues, if he has experienced some motivation while in the wilderness and gained some insight into his issues, then he may be a good candidate for our school.
At Crossroads, students will be going into the community on a regular basis from the day they arrive at our program (visiting ski resorts, recreation centers, lakes, skate parks, gyms, movie theaters, stores, etc.) Due to the openness of our school, we need to be careful about who we accept. In order for a prospective student to be admitted into Crossroads Academy, there needs to be some level of acceptance on the part of the student that he is going to a therapeutic boarding school for the next year of his life—he may not necessarily have a desire to go, but at least an understanding that this is what you have determined will be best for his future. Prospective students are those who are engaging in the therapy of the wilderness program and are showing some motivation in the wilderness (basically showing a desire to make the best out of their situation.) Also, because we have a very active recreational program involving daily activities such as snowboarding, snow skiing, wakeboarding, rock climbing, etc., prospective students need to have some desire to participate in these activities and be open to working on improving their skills in these different sports. Having fun sober and developing self-efficacy in these sports will be an integral part of your son’s recovery at Crossroads. Your son does not need to excel at any of these sports, but just be ready to get outside and have some good, wholesome fun. Finally, parents of prospective students need to be committed to fully participating in our program by being involved in family therapy, support groups and/or home therapy when recommended by the therapist, doing the recommended readings, etc.
We believe that your son is at a very important crossroads in his life. Choosing a different path from the self-destructive one that he was on is a difficult choice and a very complex process. It means giving up a part of who he was and the immediate gratification that he gained from his substance-abusing lifestyle. We hope to help your son see and experience some different roads ahead of him that can lead to genuine lasting happiness, instead of the temporary pleasure that he has been experiencing through his substance abuse.
At Crossroads Academy, we believe that the greatest agent of change comes through relationships. Your son will develop a relationship of trust and care with each of the three of us, as well as the rest of the members of our staff. The small size of our school and the fact that we will be participating in the recreation program with your son are two of the factors that will be key in allowing us to develop a close, trusting relationship with him and allowing us to get to know each and every student at our school. We will become a “second family” to you and your son. As a team (you, the therapists, and our staff), we will facilitate your son’s growth as he experiences the values of family, integrity, work, and play. We believe in each child’s innate goodness and potential, and we are committed to helping each young man choose the road that will allow him to reach this potential.
We hope this letter and our web page helps you gain a better understanding of who we are. If you have any further questions, please contact us. Also, if your circumstances allow for it, we suggest visiting each of the programs that have been recommended to you. We all may sound pretty good on paper, but as the parent who knows your son best, this will help you get a better feel for which school will be the most appropriate for your child. Good luck, and we wish you the best in the challenging but rewarding road ahead of you.
Sam Dahlin | Derek Bowles | Eric Dahlin