Commonly Asked Questions
Is this a 'Boot Camp' or 'Survivor Camp'?
No, it is not. We simply believe that nature is a wonderful, enticing setting for reaching kids in trouble. We strive to nurture, restore, and grow healthy, happy girls. Respectful, kind relationships are a cornerstone of our program.
How long do campers stay in the program?
The average stay is 15-26 months and is by no means arbitrary. Typically, troubles do not develop overnight, nor are they solved in short order. We have found over the years that relearning takes time and is well worth doing right.
When do girls see their families?
Home visits are regularly scheduled every six weeks in order to practice new skills in family relationships. Family evaluation meetings occur every 3 to 4 months when parents meet with their camper and the staff to evaluate progress. Twice a year families visit for a camp-wide Families Day in the Spring and a Parent/Camper dinner in the Fall.
What is therapeutic camping?
In simple terms, camp is “friendship therapy” at work in a small group setting. Groups of up to ten campers and two counselors learn the values of living and working together toward common goals. Here girls caught in a cycle of failure have the opportunity to experience positive values in action.
What are the criteria for enrollment?
We are licensed to accept girls between the ages of 8 to 16* who are able to handle an active lifestyle. The girl must be intellectually capable of learning in a small group. A number of campers come with diagnoses of ODD, RAD, PTSD, OCD, and ADHD, as well as a variety of Special Ed. identifications, including Academically Gifted. Many other girls have no label at all but are in need of help. We often enroll girls who have not been successful in other programs.
* At the current time, we are accepting girls ages 10 to 16.
Who are you affiliated with?
Wilderness Way Camp School, Inc. (our official name) was established in 1990 as a private Christian nonprofit therapeutic camping program. We are licensed by the South Carolina Department of Social Services as a child caring agency. We are a member of the Palmetto Association for Children and Families.
Our camp is a charter member of Wilderness Road Therapeutic Camping Association, Inc., organized in 1993 to preserve and promote the core principles of the original model of therapeutic camping as developed by Campbell Loughmiller and Buford McKenzie.
What would my cost be to enroll a camper?
As with any non-government sponsored program, we must have income to pay our bills. However, with the help of donations, fund raisers, thrift store operations, and much volunteer assistance, we are able to provide help to families at reduced rates based on a sliding fee scale. Call Tim Gibson at 8649720611 if you have a struggling girl before you take out a loan for another program.
On a Trip
Each group will usually plan about three extended trips per year outside of Camp.
Campers and their Chiefs work year long to store up wood to feed their tent stoves during the colder, winter months.
Each group works together to build their own tents in their campsite. This encourages planning, teamwork, and positive attitudes.
Campers are able to go on day-trips and fun, extra curricular activities as part of their stay and learning experience at Camp.