The average length of stay for a student during the long-term program is typically six months to a year. The summer program is just eight weeks. Despite the difference in length of stay, the schedules are very similar between the two programs.
The summer program and boarding school both have balance school time and service projects during the weekdays. Service projects help teach students empathy and the value of helping others. Service projects that students have done in the past include cleaning up a local school, providing English tutoring, and building a house for a family in need.
Classes in both programs are taught through Apex, which is used for alternative schools and credit recovery programs in the United States. Apex provides reading material, audio, and interactive lessons. With a variety of ways to learn, Apex helps students with various learning styles and with learning disabilities. Students are able to work at their own pace at their age-appropriate level. A certified teacher is present in each classroom to help students with hands-on tutoring. Students who are behind in school are able to get caught up on academics, or alternatively, students have the opportunity to work ahead in their school work.
Both programs allow students to choose evening electives based on their interests. For example, students can play basketball, board games, or watch a pre-approved TV show or movie together. These electives are done in the community and help students learn how to form healthy relationships with others. Students in both programs also have weekly individual counseling sessions and family counseling sessions. Parents can also elect to have a weekly parent counseling sessions. Caribbean Mountain Academy therapists are all Master’s level Counselors or Social Workers and have routine supervision from a licensed supervisor.
During the weekends, students in both programs do adventure-based activities such as river rafting, mountain climbing, and ziplining. The summer program is more heavily focused on the adventure-based programming, with excursions happening twice on most weekends instead of once as compared to the long-term program. The summer camp also includes a five-day peak hike. This is both literally and figuratively a mountaintop experience for the students as they hike and camp together, overcome challenges and learn the importance of teamwork.
Both programs use adventure learning activities to build self-confidence and give students positive perspectives. In addition, their focus on doing regular service projects helps build empathy and teaches students to prioritize others ahead of themselves. The two programs also offer spiritual discipleship for those who desire help with worldview formation.
The long-term program, or boarding school, is a better fit for teens with more intense and long-term counseling cases. If therapy has been tried with little or no success, the long-term program could be an ideal option and greatly benefit your child.
The truth is, it can be a difficult decision to send your child away for an extended time but the Caribbean Mountain Academy therapeutic boarding school can give your teen a fresh start away from negative influences. CMA Director, Andrew Stroup, says, “Our goal is that parents will be able to receive the help they need [and] our hope is to get students back into the home context as quickly as possible.” Once students make sufficient progress toward their goals, they are reintroduced into their homes and encouraged to continue in counseling to sustain growth.
Both the summer program and boarding school’s curriculum is designed to help students grow so that they can integrate back into their homes in healthy new ways. They desire to give hope to families that change is possible, even when counseling hasn’t worked in the past. The summer camp is a great fit for students who need mild to moderate counseling, whereas those with deeper counseling needs would benefit from attending the more long-term boarding school.