• family
    Crossroads Academy


  • integrity


  • work


  • play


About Crossroads Academy

Two roads diverged in a wood and I– I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost

Adolescent Program(Ages 14-18)

Crossroads Academy, located in Ogden, Utah, was founded in 2007. We started with our first home of 15 boys and have expanded to four homes in the Ogden area. Crossroads serves adolescent boys 14-18 years old in a home environment. We specialize in treating substance abuse and the underlying issues that play into that abuse (i.e. depression, learning difficulties, anxiety, low self-esteem, and ODD). We have created a unique environment that emphasizes autonomy and purposeful living. This environment is driven by a relationship-based model that celebrates diversity and individualization. Crossroads Academy has established itself as a leader in adolescent treatment and has set the standard for adventure and recreation in a treatment environment. Our students truly believe that Crossroads is the “place to be,” and we have worked hard to create an environment that allows students to thrive while being away from family and friends.


Our Approach


All of our staff are trained on how to hold boundaries with the students while showing love and support. We do not believe in a punishment model to get short term compliance and quick fixes. A relationship of trust will be built over time, which will allow us to inspire change through both our positive role modelling and challenging of the students’ maladaptive beliefs.

While some of us have very similar stories and backgrounds to your son, lasting change will not take place through our inspirational words alone. A true and lasting change will come through your son having positive experiences in each of the three domains of our program (therapy, academics, and recreation). These positive experiences will need to bring enough self-fulfillment and genuine happiness for your son to decide to give up his old lifestyle of drugs and alcohol.

We believe that negative emotions tend to come from negative experiences. Most of us do not like these negative emotions, and we tend to come up with ways to block this pain. Your son has found maladaptive ways (drugs, alcohol, anger, stealing, etc.) to cope with his negative experiences. Our therapy is designed to push your son to gain insight into these blocking techniques and then teach him skills to deal with his pain in healthy ways.

Types of Therapy


Individual Therapy

Your son will receive much more than the traditional weekly hour-long session with his therapist. Due to our smaller caseloads and being a small school, we will be able to really get to know your child and establish a great relationship of trust with him. We believe a strong relationship with your son is key, and as such, we will spend many hours a week participating in the recreation aspect of the program with your child. We will also go on monthly trips with the students, which will allow us to get to know your son in many different settings. Typical weekly individual sessions will be spent outside of our offices going for walks, taking drives up the beautiful canyons, going to lunch, fishing, sitting on top of the skate ramp, and in many other locations. Students will also come to our homes for barbeques and game nights. Again, we view this strong relationship with your son as imperative to facilitating a lasting change.


Family Therapy

We believe that your son’s personal growth and recovery will be greatly enhanced through the strong family component of our school. Families receive weekly family therapy sessions over the phone, and in-person sessions whenever the parents come out for a visit. These family therapy sessions will focus on better communication, parenting skills, vulnerable conversations between parents and sons, goal setting, etc.

Outside of the family therapy call, you will communicate with your son through an additional weekend call, as well as letters and email. Parents will have reading assignments and participate in family, couple, or group therapy at home as needed. We encourage Al-Anon meetings as they can be a helpful resource for families.


Group Therapy

With the many years of experience you have had raising your son, we are sure you have become very aware of the powerful influence that peers can have in the life of a teenager—and in your son’s case, the powerful negative influence that his peers have had on him. Group therapy is an excellent tool for turning a peer group into a powerful positive influence in your son’s life. Our goal is to empower our students to have a voice and a place where they can feel emotionally safe to be vulnerable with one another. In group therapy, each boy will have opportunities to share his stories and experiences with peers who can often relate to the things he has been going through and who are able to offer him acceptance and support. The primary therapists, as well as our substance abuse counselors, will lead these groups.



Here at Crossroads Academy, we will not manipulate your son into telling us what we want to hear. Instead, we will give him the opportunity to experience the happiness that comes from success in the different program domains, thus lighting a fire of lasting change that will come from within. In addition to the substance abuse work being done in individual, family, and group therapy, your son will also receive three hours each week of chemical dependency (CD) work with our substance abuse counselors. Driven by motivational interviewing, we avoid using a cookie cutter approach in dealing with the students at Crossroads. Each adolescent in this program is a unique individual, and because of this, a certain approach may work better for one student while a different intervention may be needed for another. Our substance abuse counselors will have your son work through different models depending on his individual needs. We start all of our students with the Seven Challenges Model and also expose them to the 12 Steps. While we don’t believe in forcing students to work the Steps, we do require them to attend two meetings a month and journal their experiences. A relapse prevention plan will be formulated before your child graduates from our program.

Every facet of the program at Crossroads Academy is geared toward helping your son replace his previous addictive and unhealthy behaviors with a healthy and productive lifestyle. As your son experiences success in all three of our program’s domains (therapy, academics, and recreation), we believe that he will begin gaining direction and purpose in his life. He will be getting back in touch with some core values through the influence of the program’s four guiding principles: family, integrity, work, and play. It is our hope that at the end of your son’s stay at Crossroads, he will determine on his own that the fulfillment of having healthy relationships with family and friends, the confidence and self-esteem that comes from having integrity and a strong work ethic, and the enjoyment and self-confidence that can result from wholesome recreation, free of mind-altering substances, will all outweigh the temporary pleasures he experienced with his past drug-using lifestyle.


Crossroads Academy is committed to helping each student find joy and confidence in learning. We recognize that the future success of each student strongly depends on his completion of high school, as well as creating a positive road toward EMPLOYMENT AND/OR HIGHER EDUCATION.With this in mind, each student who enters our program will have a College/Career Readiness Plan that will address his current needs and skills. This plan will first address his current educational status, including possible areas of concern. If necessary, your son will be placed on an accelerated program to help him catch up on missed credits and put him back on the road to graduation. The private school we use is fully accredited by the NORTHWEST ACCREDITATION COMMISSION(AdvancED), Therefore, all credits can be transferred back to your son’s high school, or he may graduate with a HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA from our school. We have CERTIFIED AND LICENSED TEACHERSwho teach course work, and ONE-ON-ONE TUTORING is available to each student.

While your son’s current educational needs are important, his future success is also paramount to consider and prepare for. Through our academic program, your son will be able to prepare for college by participating in SAT/ACT PREP COURSES.Our school is located just blocks from Weber State University, so taking college classesmay be easily facilitated. If college is not in your son’s immediate future, vocational programsare available and may include carpentry, computers, culinary arts, cabinetry, plumbing, as well as many other types of programs.

Crossroads Academy has a full-time education specialist who will help your son in each of the above academic areas, and who you will be able to communicate with on a regular basis. The education specialist will also take students on college campus tours and teach different life skills (e.g., job interviewing).



At Crossroads Academy, we believe that having a balanced leisure life is essential to maintaining a high level of emotional health. Being challenged both mentally and physically through quality recreational activities leads to an increase in competence as a sense of self-determination is experienced and developed. As adolescents develop this personal competence through leisure, they begin to feel better about themselves. In addition to building self-esteem, recreational activities also allow teenagers to find a positive escape from some of the difficult challenges in life. We believe that the recreation domain of our program is just as important as the academic and therapeutic domains. We want your child to learn how to have fun sober and develop more self-confidence as he improves in the different sports and other activities in which he will be participating.

Crossroads Academy specializes in adventure sports. These sports include, but are not limited to, snowboarding/skiing, wakeboarding, wakesurfing, skateboarding, rock climbing, mountain biking, and bouldering. With the emergence of the X games, these sports have quickly become more mainstream and are a particular draw for many of the students who come to Crossroads Academy. Fortunately, these sports are ideal for students who may have had a history of addiction or risk-seeking behavior as they provide for “natural highs.” These sports are technically demanding and allow for increased mastery and attention, leading to an increase in self-esteem. While traditionally some of these sports have been associated with a counterculture and drug use, it is our intent to expose students to these sports with an emphasis on natural highs and purposeful adventure living.

While there is an emphasis on these sports, potential students do not have to excel at or be experienced in any of these activities. What we do want them to have is a willingness to participate and an openness to work on improving their skills. We have excellent instructors who will be able to teach the students at whatever level they may be. Our students will wear helmets and other appropriate protective gear while participating in these extreme sports.




On each of our properties, we have skate ramps, rails, and boxes. We also have our own indoor skate park located 10 minutes away. There are 4 skate parks within an 8 mile radius, and 10 others within a 90 mile radius. While students are not required to skateboard, it can definitely be a daily part of recreation for your son if he enjoys the sport.



Crossroads Academy is in a perfect location for wakeboarding and wakesurfing. We are 15 minutes away from Pineview Reservoir, where there are three Malibu boats docked in our boat slips waiting for us to take them out. Students will be able to go boating a couple of days a week for a few hours a day during the summer months. Most of our students have had no previous experience with these sports and will be getting lessons from some amazing instructors.



Each winter, students will get season passes to Snowbasin Resort, which is about 30 minutes away from our properties. The students have the opportunity to go snowboarding/skiing 3-5 times a week for a few hours a day on weekdays and all day on weekends throughout the winter and spring months.

mountain biking


Ogden is an ideal location for mountain biking. We have numerous beautiful trails within 30 minutes of our properties. We also take our bikes on many of our monthly excursions—it’s hard to beat biking on the red rock trails of southern Utah.

rock climbing


Many of our students have enjoyed rock climbing so much that we have made it a regular activity that our boys can participate in a few times a week. Ogden has one of the top climbing gyms in Utah, as well as some incredible outdoor locations. Some of our students have even participated on competitive climbing teams.



Crossroads students have memberships at the local EoS Fitness where they can go to work out, swim, and play basketball or racquetball. They are able to go to the gym on almost a daily basis. We have staff that can help the students plan their workout regimen and make the most of their time at the gym.

team sports


Our goal is to support our students in finding healthy passions. For the boys that enjoy competitive team sports, we will do all that we can to help facilitate this. We have had students play on club soccer and hockey teams. We’ve also had students play on our local high school teams—tennis, lacrosse, and football. Staff and students will play lots of basketball at the gym and local parks, as well as games of soccer and volleyball.


As the founders of Crossroads Academy, we write this letter to you with the intention of reducing some of the anxiety that you may be experiencing at this time in your lives. As you are reading this, your son is probably roughing it out there in the wilderness somewhere. You have made it through what was most likely a very difficult decision in sending your son to a wilderness program. Although there have probably been some rough weeks during this experience, hopefully you have been feeling some peace knowing your son has been in a safe place and is on a positive road to healing and recovery. But now you are needing to make another very difficult decision—that of which school you should send him to this next year. Fortunately, you have hired an educational consultant who is an expert in helping you find an appropriate placement for your son. Each of the schools that your consultant is recommending will more than likely work for your child—otherwise your consultant would not be recommending them. It is the consultant’s goal to find the most appropriate school that will do the best job of meeting your son’s needs. This is our goal here at Crossroads as well—to make sure you and your son will be a good fit for us. We will not accept a student into our program unless we believe that we can offer what you and your child need at this time.

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


Meet the Staff
skate shop

YOUR SON WILL HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY to gain critical work experience while learning how to maintain a job with employment at Crossroads Skate Shop. We created and continue to manage this shop and indoor skatepark not only as a way to serve the community of Ogden, but to also instill a good work ethic in your son. Paid hourly, he will come to understand financial management and excellent customer service—he’ll also be able to perfect his skateboarding skills as the park is for our program’s personal use after hours. If your son chooses to not work at Crossroads Skate Shop, there are an abundance of other employment opportunities to be found in the rapidly growing Ogden area.



samdahlin@yahoo.com   |   801-369-0238