How is BlueFire different than other wilderness programs?

By immersing the child in an outdoor setting, we remove the distractions and causations of negative feelings and behaviors. This brings about a deep awareness of the your child’s negative path and a strong desire for something different. We utilize a more comprehensive treatment team approach, than other wilderness programs, in creating and implementing specific treatment plans for each child and family system.

Unlike other wilderness programs, at BlueFire, there is a therapist in the group at least four days each week. Also involved in weekly treatment experiences are: equine specialist, adventure activity guides and daily academic work.

We recognize that most wilderness programs operate in such a contained model that it can be challenging to transfer the skills into life back home, in school and among peers. Programs with an excess of structure and expectations foster an environment of compliance as opposed to an environment of growth and learning.

At BlueFire, we provide the opportunity for experiences, exploration and education which produces real, lasting change your child can bring back home and use the rest of their lives. Our utilization of regular adventure activities, combined with the proven methods of traditional wilderness therapy approaches, make BlueFire unique and more complete than a simple wilderness approach. The variety of experiences allows our clients to have a more comprehensive and adventurous experience.

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We're happy to answer any questions you have about blueFire Wilderness

Below are some of the most common questions families have about BlueFire’s wilderness program, including what sets us apart from other wilderness programs. Please contact us directly toll free at 844-413-1999 if there are additional questions you have. We are here to help you decide if BlueFire is the right fit for your family.

By immersing the child in an outdoor setting, we remove the distractions and causations of negative feelings and behaviors. This brings about a deep awareness of the your child’s negative path and a strong desire for something different. We utilize a more comprehensive treatment team approach, than other wilderness programs, in creating and implementing specific treatment plans for each child and family system. Unlike other wilderness programs, at BlueFire, there is a therapist in the group at least four days each week. Also involved in weekly treatment experiences are: equine specialist, adventure activity guides and daily academic work. We recognize that most wilderness programs operate in such a contained model that it can be challenging to transfer the skills into life back home, in school and among peers. Programs with an excess of structure and expectations foster an environment of compliance as opposed to an environment of growth and learning. At BlueFire, we provide the opportunity for experiences, exploration and education which produces real, lasting change your child can bring back home and use the rest of their lives. Our utilization of regular adventure activities, combined with the proven methods of traditional wilderness therapy approaches, make BlueFire unique and more complete than a simple wilderness approach. The variety of experiences allows our clients to have a more comprehensive and adventurous experience.
Wilderness therapy offers an opportunity for our clients to step away from their negative influences and out of the destructive path they are on. At BlueFire, clients can take a look at their role in what got led them on this path, re-evaluate themselves and reconsider their long-term goals.
Safety is our top priority. We integrate the latest emergency safety systems, with 24-hour back-up on-call and 24-hour communication with headquarters and/or emergency services. We hire highly experienced clinical and field staff, who are trained Wilderness First Responders. We also hire people with expertise in our adventure activities, including rock climbing guides and boating instructors to assist in safe adventure experiences. Our Medical Director provides all physicals and consultations.
BlueFire works with teens and young adults that are struggling in their current environment and those who may suffer from: depression, anxiety, low self esteem, conflict within the home, school struggles, alcohol or drug use and academic difficulties. Many are also experiencing conflicts within the family. Contacting us is best to help understand if BlueFire is right for your child.
The qualities that make BlueFire respected as a leading wilderness program are the same regardless of age and gender: passionate, experienced team; unique adventure programming; high quality wilderness therapy. We also recognize that the challenges and opportunities for improvement of a young adult are not the same as a teen, so we have some special differences depending on age and gender. To learn specifics regarding our young adult program, please visit our site here >>.
Groups will rotate activities weekly with every other week being a multi-day hiking excursion and on the alternate weeks will spend one day of safety training then the remaining days either: rock climbing, paddling or mountain biking. Groups are in their base camp sites three days each week and participate in equine therapy once weekly.
We can refer you to a healthcare advocate that can check your policy and help you in the process of getting insurance reimbursement if you have a benefit.
“Clients” typically stay somewhere between six and 12 weeks. The average length of stay is about nine weeks and depends on each client’s progress and skills they are working on.
BlueFire is located in south central Idaho, approximately 45 minutes from the Sun Valley/Hailey Idaho Airport and 1 hour and 30 minutes form the Boise Idaho Airport. There are direct flights to Boise and Sun Valley from many major airports.
To get the most benefit from the program, it is important that the child experience life without technology for the most part – no TV, computers, Internet or cell phones except for treatment and communication with family. This means that their communication with you will need to be coordinated accordingly. You will have weekly calls with their therapist. At some point you will have family therapy via secure video conferencing. We use the newest technology, such as video journals from your child which are a pretty great way to connect. You can send and receive letters with your child and be able to see your child during the family program. Please also see “Keeping Connected.”
Unlike other wilderness programs, we measure success not based on how our clients do in program, but how they do weeks and months afterwards. To have success, we need to involve the families in the process while at BlueFire. We have consistent communication with the family from day one, offer intensive and immersive family workshops and build the parents into the child’s success. Before transitioning on, our multi-disciplinary treatment team will make a comprehensive assessment and provide recommendations for your child based on their individual needs. Clients are actively involved in creating this transition plan as their commitment to it supports long lasting change. A skilled home clinical therapist or educational consultant may be recommended if you do not already have one.
Rest assured, this is not a contest of survival, but an opportunity for personal growth. We provide all the necessary, state-of-the-art equipment including clothing and base camp shelters, as well as food and water. In our experience, if your child experiences discomfort it is usually because this is his or her first time in a long time without technology such as cell phones, TV and the Internet. They will learn skills and tools to take care of themselves in our program and our staff will ensure they have what they need at all times.
Our clients go on multi-day treks and end up back at our base camp shelters. During the treks, they sleep in tents and shelters. During the colder times, we have specialized winter yurts/canvas shelters. The experienced BlueFire team has added an element of comfort not found in other programs. Groups will be assigned a base camp site which they reside at. They will plan and head out on the various excursions from this place and return to their assigned site afterwards. This base site consists of a yurt with sleeping cots, heat source, picnic and cooking area and even shower facilities for a weekly cleanse. We know that while some level of discomfort is necessary to elicit intense change, we have also learned that as people do have access to some basic comforts, rapport, trust and respect can be increased.
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