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New Perspectives - Dec, 1995 Issue #37 

(Letting Experiential Adventure Promise Success)
Three Springs of Duck River
Centerville, Tennessee
David A. Stephenson, M.S., Director of Admissions

L.E.A.P.S. is a short term (two months), intensive, experiential, adventure-based program for boys ages 13-17. Education and therapy are intertwined throughout the program. The education program will be individualized to meet the specific academic needs of the group, and since the program has certification as a private school by the Tennessee Department of Education, academic credit can be earned. This can include core subjects like English, Math and Science as well as other subjects. 

"The treatment program is divided into eight distinct one week adventure modules that will utilize the on-site high and low ropes course, biking and canoeing trips, skill classes, experiential living projects and focuses attention on: Trust, Building Teamwork, Self-Confidence, Respect, Communication Skills, Leadership, Problem Solving, and Goal-Setting and Motivation." "The boys live in groups of 8 to 12 under the direct supervision of Group Counselors and Experiential Educators trained and experienced in child/adolescent therapy, use of group process, and outdoor therapeutic treatment." 

Parallel to the work the boys do, the program also includes six modules for the parents, most of which can be done in their home town. They include: Communication, Building confidence and self-esteem in a child, Setting boundaries and problem solving, Learning to use consequences instead of control, How parents experience effects parenting skill, and identifying and dealing with drug and sexual issues. 

The program "focuses on the family system, with the child being the focal point. The experiential nature of the child's involvement, along with the parent's participation in the Parent Modules, creates a total family systems approach designed to help the child reintegrate into any academic environment." 

Tim Marshall and Tere Snodgrass, who have recently joined the Three Springs staff, after several years of working with families of children with troubles, are extensively involved in helping fine tune the program. 

Copyright 1995, Woodbury Reports, Inc. (This article may be reproduced without prior approval if the copyright notice and proper publication and author attribution accompanies the copy.)

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