“My experience as a parent going through the InnerRoads Program was overwhelming, as I’m sure it is for most parents. Program staff always brought us back to love and trust, and helped us focus our efforts on those values even when there was crisis and danger which was very frightening. I have carried that lesson with me in the years since we were part of the program. My daughter knows she can never chase my love for her away, and she also knows I can’t protect her from some of the consequences of her actions. She and I can speak about most anything and we tell each other we love each other nearly every day. She is doing well living on her own, has friends and a full time job she enjoys. She has had a new start in another city which is very positive and reinforcing of her strengths, and she approaches life with confidence and enthusiasm, though perhaps still with more impulsivity than I would like : ) Those years of my life were so painful I am crying now remembering them. Program staff’s dedication to their work with such difficult situations has been admirable, and I’m sure at times difficult because the maturity the children need to develop is attained through a long process so sometimes the long term outcomes are not known for a while. In our case, it was a profound turnaround though it wasn’t a quick turn around, I am convinced that the program helped us through.”
“My son Soren, completed InnerRoads in the fall of 2009, at age 14. Now at 18, even after all that time, he still has kept his experience in his heart. When Soren arrived he struggled with anxiety all the time. Soren completed the Innerroads Program and came home with a completely new attitude. One that has stayed with him ever since. Soren said that there are things “he learned on the mountain” that will carry him through the rough spots in life. When Soren graduated from High School this past year, he put a small thank you card in each announcement thanking those people who helped and believed in him along the way—InnerRoads’ program therapist was at the top of the list!
We have seen him trying and doing a few things without even being asked. We feel that this experience has had the biggest, most positive impact on him than anything that we or anyone else has done. I know that we have a long road ahead, but it is a good start.”
“Today, if I could introduce you to 17-year-old Caleb, you would instantly feel comfortable in his presence. Caleb would ask you questions about yourself and would be genuinely interested in what you had to say. He is a very likeable young man. His laughter and smile are contagious. This was not the situation one year ago….
Last year, Caleb came into our program angry and confused. He hated his Mom and despised the Dad whom he had met one time in his life. His Dad came to his 7th birthday party at Caleb’s request, promised to return, but never came back. Caleb was heartbroken. Caleb’s childhood was unstable due to frequent moves, siblings’ mental health issues, and mother’s self acknowledged abusive behaviors. Six months before entering our program, Caleb was struggling with depression and anger towards his mother.
Caleb and his mother knew they needed help. Both were extremely motivated to participate in InnerRoads. It was the only thing they had agreed on in the last couple of years. While visiting Caleb in the field, it was obvious he was a natural leader. His positive attitude and unwillingness to give up was contagious. It spread to the rest of the group. He was one of the most determined teenagers that InnerRoads has ever had. After completing InnerRoads, Caleb worked hard to get his GED, got a job, and has plans to attend college in the fall. He and his Mom continue to work on their relationship, taking steps towards trusting each other again.”
“My son Scott, age 15, entered Inner Roads for help with substance abuse issues. For Scott, being in the mountains was one of the best experiences of his life. Through that time he developed a great love for the woods. The staff on the trip treated the kids wonderfully; they engaged intellectually with them and yet were fun and positive. It showed because the kids treated them all with admiration.
While the kids were in the mountains we as parents had to attend our own counseling sessions. These were useful to facilitate our new beginning with our kids. We also got to relate to other parents in the group and learn from them. There were some extremely difficult times where we had to face some hard issues but with the help of InnerRoads, we found some new solutions and got through it. It was well worth it.
Since this summer we as a family have had stronger communication, trust has developed on both sides and we have had little problems with Scott. We haven’t experienced that for many years. Scott is going to school and doing well; he is in driver’s education and has a job. He is still in drug court and due to graduate soon. Scott has remained clean since July and has aspirations for a future. He has grown into a better person and we owe it to his time at Inner Roads Wilderness Treatment Program…..We are forever grateful for the learning experience.”
“My name is Rebecca McClintock. I am 15 years old and live in Missoula, MT. Two years ago, my mom decided she could no longer care for me, so I moved in with my dad and stepmom. The transition wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. Everything at my house always seemed to be a constant battle. Because I never felt safe, I started using drugs.
My dad recognized the struggles I was having and placed me in the InnerRoads Wilderness Program. This program is designed to help teens grow, heal and develop stronger relationships with the people in our lives. In September, I set off into the wilderness with three other teens for 30 days. From that point on, we hiked for 110 miles carrying 50-pound packs! This experience proved to be more worthwhile than I thought it would be. I had lots of time to think about how I reacted to my problems and how I could do better. Now I find that I am honest, own my emotions, identify my feelings and communicate better. Overall, I am more aware and empowered. Physically, mentally, and emotionally, this trip was the hardest thing I’ve ever done…and the most rewarding.”