Campus Life at Our Therapeutic Boarding School
Wolf Creek Academy is located in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina. Students ages 13-17 live on campus and attend school year-round. Our lodges are comfortable yet rustic mountain lodges. However, the emphasis is not on staying inside, it is on getting outside and off the porch. Our grounds have large open grass fields where students play soccer, whiffle ball, kickball, frisbee, lacrosse, and a variety of other games.
There are volleyball and basketball courts, as well as Gaga ball pits. Students can swim, fish, or relax on a float in our ponds on sunny afternoons or ride down hills on sleds in the winter. Our location makes it possible for year-round outdoor fun on and off-campus with ski resorts, the Appalachian Trail, waterfalls, and national parks all within minutes of Wolf Creek Academy school for troubled teens!
The Residential Life portion of Wolf Creek Academy is a cornerstone that encompasses more than just housing. Yes, Wolf Creek Academy is a “boarding school”, and the students live on campus year-round. However, so much more than eating and sleeping happens in our lodges. Lodge life provides a safe, nurturing, family-like atmosphere for the students to develop the skills necessary to have positive relationships with both adults (authority figures) and peers. Our lodges follow a “Family Model” where each person has routines and responsibilities to help the family as a whole function successfully. Respect for the home as well as one another is modeled, helping students to appreciate some things that they might have been taking for granted before Wolf Creek Academy. The students live in close quarters with each other and the staff. However, these close quarters serve the purpose of providing opportunities to build relationships.
Although much of what we do at Wolf Creek Academy happens outside, due to weather or personal preference of the students there are times we stay inside as well. However, inside does not mean students lounging around by themselves or hiding in their rooms avoiding others. We engage the student’s artistic sides through playing, listening to, or writing music with them. We take out crayons, markers, chalk, or paint and draw, craft, or do other projects with them. We “just hang out” and play cards or board games, put together puzzles or read books. It is not what we do that matters, it is that we take the time to do things with them that lets them know they are important to us and that we care about them. All of these things are ways we build relationships with our students. Along the way, we build trust and earn the right to speak into their lives inviting them to change and become the best versions of themselves.
The students at Wolf Creek Academy work in three different facets: Adventure Therapy, Student Life, and Academics. However, the piece that weaves these things together is our CLIMB Program. In each phase of CLIMB (Choosing, Listening, Implementing, Maturing, Believing) the student has goals to meet in each facet.
As the students meet their goals, the person responsible for overseeing that area signs their approval that the goal was met. When all goals for the phase are signed off, the student becomes eligible for promotion to the next phase. The staff members working with the student all have input as to whether the student has met or exceeded the goals for the phase and vote whether or not to promote the student to the next phase. Upon completion of phase B, the students have only a few requirements left before graduation and the process begins for their transition out of Wolf Creek Academy.
The struggling teen students at Wolf Creek Academy have multiple opportunities to learn about and grow in their Christian faith every week. Our students attend the Rock Church of Asheville for both Sunday morning services and Wednesday evening Youth Service. Wolf Creek Academy has a weekly chapel for our students and staff. Each week chapel is led by staff members or guest speakers and covers biblical topics that are pertinent to the lives of the students. Throughout the week students are encouraged to dive into their Bibles and continue searching and studying as they build their own personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The staff at Wolf Creek Academy consists of many strong Christians, some of whom studied at seminaries and have even pastored in either volunteer or paid positions. We are always eager to help our students explore their Christian faith.