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Saturday, July 28, 2007


Jackson Shaw

It's funny how one only ever sees these "horror" stories in people's blogs.

My son is coming home from Spring Creek Lodge Academy in less than a month and what a thorougly positive transformation he's had. As parents, we've had nothing but an awesome, enlightening experience.

There's a great book out there written by a mother/daughter team that were part of the program you've posted about...

The other funny thing - and I complement you for it - is that most other bloggers on this topic don't allow comments. I wonder why? There are many children who have graduated these programs and gone on to live successful, wholesome lives. I've been both awed and honored to meet many of those kids...

Thank you!

Jackson Shaw

Terry Kelley

Mr. Shaw,
I sincerely hope things work out for your son. You I couldn't care less about.

You see while you think "It's funny how one only ever sees these horror stories in people's blogs." I think it's funny how the people defending these things are nearly always parents looking to assuage their guilt over having their child committed to the care of these things.

Perhaps there are one or two out there but I have never seen a survivor of one of these programs have much of anything positive to say about them.

While I have no personal knowledge of The Spring Creek Lodge Experience. I do have personal knowledge of the kind of program wwasp runs. I have been through one and I can tell you that while it is a life altering experience it is rarely a positive one.

I can tell you that these places were so abusive that teens have died in their care. I can tell you they are so abusive that the company moved the majority of them overseas so they wouldn't have to obey U.S. laws and even the overseas camps are being shut down. I can tell you that Litchfield and Farnsworth make millions conning well intentioned parents into committing their child and as such are highly motivated to keep it up and I can tell you that the reports of abuse far outnumber the reports of "Success"

I agree with you that many survivors of such programs go on to live successful and productive lives but I can assure you that on those occasions it is literally in spite of their experience not because of it.

Last but not least if Spring Creek is anything like the programs with which I have experience you will be lucky to salvage any kind of relationship with your son once he returns and is no longer subject to the control which has lead you to believe he has had an "Enlightening experience" and that is perhaps the saddest part of all

RB Alls

I heard Jackson Shaw's son was recently sent back into the program. Guess it didn't work out so well.


I succeeded after leaving Spring Creek, but it didn't have anything to do with what was stuffed down my throat at that place. Maybe thats not quite the right description, my success had nothing to do with what I was forced to believe and accept in order to have any way to ever see my parents again, or have a real life again. See thats how it was. I am not trying to write a horror story for those who are still caught in the manipulative fog. let me tell you parents, or parents who are considering sending your kids away. You are sending your kids away. Let me tell you how that felt to me when my parents sent me away. A family is a pack. I was acting like a normal kid you see, making my mistakes early so I didn't learn them later when they would really mess things up for me. When i was sent away, no matter how much I learned to believe that I deserved it, basically i felt like my family, my pack, was telling me that there was something so wrong with me that i had to be sent away. Guess what, there is nothing wrong with your kids. Bring them home, do not send them. Kids are going to make mistakes, and yes if they really screw up their lives, they are going to deal with those repurcussions. end of story. Do not ever tell someone you love that there is something wrong with them, because they will believe it for a very long time, and that is NO WAY TO TREAT A HUMAN BEING, especially SOMEONE YOU LOVE AND CARE ABOUT> I got out, and for the past 7 years I have been tremendously messed up inside because of what I went through. My parents and I have slowly become closer, but that rejection that I faced, that will never heal. I will never trust them again because that sacred bond was shattered. I do love them, I do realize that they really thought that they were doing what they needed to for me, but that is unacceptable, and they will never understand what I went through. See, after Spring Creek, I made those mistakes that I should've before my 18th birthday, a learning staple in this world we live in now, and I still pay for those mistakes. That sucks. If I can do something for someone then I say please do not do this to your kids. If your kids are there now, please pull them immediatly, if you are thinking about sending your kids, think long and hard and understand that your bond with your kid will never recover. Also do some research regarding the owners Cameron and Chaffin, mainly, take a trip to Thompson Falls and look around to buy drugs, and guess who you will be buying them from? Incredulous I know, but dont knock what I write until you try it out. Those two are not as great and wonderful as you think they are. What is that old saying? Absolute power corrupts, power corrupts absolutly. They have a god complex stemming from what they do, If they dont think you are a prospective client with a kid, they will sell you drugs. This is an example of who you are going to/cureently are entrusting your children to.
Back to my success though. I am successful because against all odds, I chose to be. I pulled my broken confused self together and decided to take care of myself regardless of how I was trained to feel about myself. I am not a number, I am not a statistic, I do not deserve crap because of my very normal, very real reactions to my world and my hormones and my confusion as a teenager. People dont treat their dogs the way we were treated at Spring Creek. Please do your research before you consider sending your kid away.


One thing i forgot to add...

For parents who have "exausted all avenues" who feel like there is nothing left to do but send your troubled kids to a very expensive baby sitting service.

Talk to your kids. Please know that this time in their lives is the most negative mind suck time that they will ever know. they are scared and have to over compensate by creating an illusion of control for themselves. Those bad decisions they are making, are their own. Love and support your kids, dont be judging or blameful for dissapointed, just know that high school is messed up. SUPPORT THEM! Support them and let them know that you support them, allow them to make their decisions, let them know that you trust that they will make the best decisions for themselves, and encourage them to make better decisions than they are now. They will grow out of where they are now, but support them in that. If your teenaged girl is having sex and may get pregnant, sit down with her and watch "Juno", tell her that she is beautiful and wonderful and sacred and she doesn't need to be giving it away to anyone, instil her with confidence, teach her those scarey taboos of aids and other STDs, make sure she has protection. If your kid is not interested in school, GET THEM OUT OF THERE! Get them into what they are interested in, if your goth kids is really into death and morbid things like that, take them to a mortuary, dont dissaprove of whatever they are interested in because, now pay attention...your kids are not replicahs of yourself, they do not need to live up to your expectations, they form their own ideas, own interests, own expectations. This world is hard enough to make it in, especially with the new generations that are popping up, its getting harder and harder and weirder and weirder, dont make it any harder for them. If your kid wants to denounce a religion that you are affiliated with, let them, by forcing them, you are losing them, and sending them away is your problem dont do that to them, just get them through this time of their lives and they may come back, and they may not, but it is not for you to control. That control is making things harder and harder for your kids. Experience them as they are and allow them to be. Give them confidence and support of their dreams. Find out what those dreams are and be happy for your kids. If they dont have dreams as of yet, ask them, ask them what they wanted to be when they were little and let them know that they can do it. Love your children, this time is not an insult to you and what you believe, help them through this time. Love your kids and let them know that you love them. Believe in your kids and let them know that you believe in them. Even if they reject it, keep loving and supporting them until they find those beautiful people inside themselves that they are covering up because of this hateful horrible time right now.

The truth

Let me tell you about spring creek lodge , I went there in 2002. In quest family. These programs, are psychological abuse. No, state run jail, group home, or mental institution is this bad. They chose to put the program in montana because any one with out a license can just take your kids and charge money with out government over sight. I have post tramatic stress since leaving there. Spring creek had no license, also they paid off the local sheriff and at one time the biggest employer in sanders county;not to mention the biggest lobbyist in that area. They made over $40,000,000 a year in their prime years. Overcrowding 20 kids in the size oh a hotel room. I remember kids stuffed in the hobbit for 6 or 7 months with out showers or brushing their teeth. Also parents are stupid to send there kids over seas to mexico or jamaica to be beaten and treated like terrorists. If you type in spring creek lodge academy in google you will not read anything good at all. Nothing, you know why, its EVIL. Also its shut down, GOD would not let them operate under such a way any longer. Also the state changed laws that the program couldn't meet and closed this year in january 9 20009. So the moral of the story if you are one of the stupid people who sent your kids to spring creek lodge, you had been scammed and committed sins on your child. You need to repent and ask forgiveness for your wicked ways.

Ps. PBS documentary "who is watching the kids" About spring creek and WWASP.



Brandon Todd

well i also graduated and that place was a joke and a half. you have to fake as can be to get out and i did that well and proved that it is worthless. i learned my lessons without their help. i was trainer and highly respected there but it just took me growing up while i was there not believing all they said. blah blah blah thats all i ever heard

Bill Boogersworth


I was also trainer while I was at SCL. I think you left when I had only been there for a few months. Not sure if I knew you. But I'm sure your remember Bryce Anderson, Ryan White, Moises Villapando, Scott Nader, and a few others. Remember Ryan Jett? How he miraculously got everything from Chaffin. And like had his own car and shit.

I have mixed feelings about SCL. Obviously, its tactics of behavior modification more often than not are incredibly destructive. Yet, it does a provide an arena in which one truly bond with people-- an escape from the world's materialism.

But as we know, for any one who is remotely mentally unstable it can be disastrous.Though I did not turn out that bad, I would never send a child there.

sara oberst

So, if your child was on their way to the penitentary, you think that would be a better way to go than this school?

Alicia walker

I was sent to scla in jun of 2002. I made it to the upper levels. before hand I belonged to the Eternity family. I think that scla has it's good point as well as its bad. I feel that you get what you put in to the program ( respect get's respect) they are not babysitters. they want to show you a better way of life. If you choose not to get with the program and show your ass what do you expect??? there are others there that want to change. I put my family through hell as a teenager and i honestly think good bad or indierent if my parent's didnt get me out of the situation i was in i would be dead!! since scla i have turned my life around! I think that the simiars are a little hokey along with other things but i did make a lot of great frends that i still keep in contact with.. and i am happy i was at scla rather than the penitentary.. unless things have changed that much.. if you worked your program it's not that bad priviages... you have to earn them!!!! you earn your respect through kindness and respect for others... thoughs of you that think your better than the program look at your life it's either the same or worse since you left... verses thoughs that got something out of it... and all the runners... dumb asses you know how much wood and shit are out there shame on you for trying you just want a little attention you feel your parents didnt give you!!!

jon blake

scl is the biggest joke but its not funny i agree its a sin to send a child there and now i cant find my diploma years later so how good is it really i hate spring creek and like others still suffer ptsd disorder or some shit i dont even know what it is i think im haunted parents do research before making decision with your kids would be my advice or there gonna end up like me angry at the worlds



i ask you to understand for one moment that you have absolutely no idea what went on there from day to day. I was there from 2003 to 2005 and i do not know what its like now so i can't speak to it as of that but i dont think its far from what is was. I am a 21 year old woman with a place and a job and i have done well for myself.. but none of that had anything to do with the program... first of all lets be logical and look at any website or news report about WASSP programs that aren't an advertisement for the place. They all say the SAME THING.. That place is not healthy physically or mentally for kids and people have been screwed up. When I was there a girl hung herself with a sweatshirt... tell me what is mentally reassuring about that?? Parents really don't put enough effort into looking in on what your doing to your child... i would plead with you to try everything else before you send your child away.. and NEVER to tranquility bay, and i hope not scla either... I love my father with all my heart but there is so much pain behind our relationship because of that... i dont think it will ever be the same

Maria B.

I am sure that no one really reads this page much since I see the last post was November of 2009 and it is now February of 2010! Time flies!
I was a student who attended SCLA. I successfully graduated from the program in 2005. I am only speaking for myself here, so please no one take this offensively. Spring Creek changed my life. I made poor choices, hurt my family, I was a cutter, drank all the time, had abusive relationships with men when I was only 13, the list goes on. I had a difficult time with Spring Creek the first couple of months I was there, however, I started to like it after my first seminar. I learned so many lessons while I was there. I learned how to speak for myself in a manner that would not offend other people, I learned to step up and take the lead, I learned to love myself after many years of hating myself after my father's suicide. When I left SCLA, my relationship with my family was great, my mother and I are still best friends! My sister's actually look up at me, instead of be embarassed to call me their sister! I did make many poor choices in the past 5 years, that is true. However I have handled them, learned from them and continued living life! Something I would not have done if it wasn't for Spring Creek, I would have started cutting myself or drinking or something like that. Spring Creek's purpose was not to "fix" us or anything like that, just simply to help us discover our own tools that we could apply to life, if we chose to.
I was staff at a program here for almost a year, I respect, more now than ever, what the staff had to put up with in SCLA. But they still continued to come back and help us! They put up with us cussing them out, treating them horribly, and so much more, but they still returned to help guide us! I did it here, it was tough! I grew to care for the kids as if they were family and be there for them thru thick and thin! So, I am sure my rambling may be a confusing mess by now!
However I just want people to know that I thank my mother every day for sending me to Spring Creek! I learned so much! I can handle life now! I am almost 22 and doing great! Taking each day's challenges with my head held high!

Maria B.

Oh yes! One more thing! I discovered this about myself while I attended Spring Creek Lodge, this is who I am...



This is an honest opinion of how I experienced SCL.
I was in SCL from 97 to 98 or so. So long ago now can't remember exactly. I was there a little under a year. I never did see anything horrible, but to me this place was a total joke. I guess it can work for some people but I did not see a very high success rate from people who went through this program. I actually witnessed many graduates returning within a few months.
I was not really rebellious as a child but I did dabble in a little Marijuana and some drinking. I would say those are pretty mild problems compared to what kids get into these days. I never had/have been in a fight or to jail and I have never had any real issues with being obedient.
My parents did not know any better(they are foreign)and were afraid that their child would not be acceptable in an American society so they sent me there. My relationship with my parents is not any better or worse because of this.
I spent the first few months in the program and then volunteered my self to the hobbit for about 3 1/2 months until my parents got the idea that their money was being wasted.
Cameron and Chafin are a joke. They bullied around the smaller kids but never laid a finger on me cause I was a little bigger.
In the end I don't think SCL is a horrible nightmare(can't say anything about the overseas places though) like some make it out to be, but it was definitely a waste of time. I do not have post traumatic stress disorder nor am I hugely successful. But I have been married for 9 years and am living quite the happy life.
Would I have fallen into a deeper hole if I didn't go to SCL? Doubt it. I still maintain the habits that got me sent to Montana in the first place but they don't seem to hinder my life. So to each his/her own.


Oh yeah. One thing I didn't know about myself until I went to SCL. I am capable of committing two felonies in one night. Wouldn't have happened without you SCL.


brandon todd what up

Andrea D


I was at SCLA from Dec 1999 until May 2001 in Quest family. Sup Quest homies. As was explained to me by the letter I received from my parents, I was at SCL because of "violent videogames" and poor performance in school. You learn there that it isn't your feelings and opinions that matter, but those of the staff and your parents. Obey your parents unconditionally, they say.


I was at SCLA from Jan 14 2005-July 1 2007. I was there from the age of 13 to 16 graduating three days after my 16th birthday. Being one of the youngest students there i recieved no end of torment from other students the majority of which were at least 3 years older than me. I have to say being at spring creek was the most traumatic experience I've ever had. I cannot remember a time when i felt more depressed and suicidal in my life. Whats worse was i was close to killing myself and know one knew or even noticed, i was not even placed on high risk. The only thing that helped me get out of that mindset was playing a mind game with myself, and telling myself that i was gonna be ok. I find this bizarre seeing as how this is a place that is supposed to help you and treat such things. To this day my parents think that i just sat there in the program trying to waste all of their money. But they weren't there and have no insight to the games and bullshit that is played by every person there whether it be that they are forced to turn on you, ie "junior staff" or some other punk kid has some stupid feud with you. I may also have some small form of PTSD, for i still have dreams about spring creek and wake sweating and with a feeling of fear and unease. Spring Creek is supposed to be about bringing families closer or so I was told by my "Family Rep". But since then I have never been more distant with my parents. I have the deepest resentment towards them that i dont know if i'll ever get over it. It will always be between us. In fact three weeks after i graduated the program my parents kicked me out of their house. I am now 19 and things havent got much better between us. And to those who did well at spring creek... Im glad you were so well liked because i know for certain that spring creek is all about how much kiss ass you can play and a popularity contest all in one. To parents... anything is better than sending your kids to a bullshit program so you can get scammed of your money and wreak havoc on your relationship with your child. Actually spend time with your kids, try to talk to them they will apreciate your effort eventually even if they dont at that time.


I was at spring creek lodge myself from 2001 to 2003. At the time i truely believed i was the worst kid ever and i deserved to be sent away. I was in the hobbit numerous times and i did truely start to believe that i was just a piece of shit and i wasn't worth anything.
Well, when i left the program i felt like a walking zombie. I couldn't look up at anyone, especially men in being afraid i would get in trouble. I'm going to tell you all right now, dont ever send your kids to a place like that. Now as a mom myself, i would never send my children away. I understand that children make mistakes and as the parent you need to be there for them and love them. You don't ever want your children to have a feeling that they were given up and abandoned. Till this day i still suffer from mental and emotional things that i suffered from spring creek. I have chosen to make my life better and make better choices for me and my family. My relationship with my family has gone away. I no longer have a relationship with my dad and barely have one with my mom. I struggle to forgive her every day. I know she loves me and i truely do believe that she believed this program was lagitimate and safe. All the horror stories i would come home telling her about she never believed me. Please please parents do your research.

Justin Napier

I too was a student at SCL. I am so glad and relieved that it has been shut down. My problem the entire time was a lack of freedom - when I left the program and moved out on my own I became happy and started on a path to success that I am still on (7 years later).

You parents who sent your kids to these places will never have a clue what it felt like, and you should be very grateful for that.


Graduated Spring Creek Lodge in 2003. I am so thankful that my family sent me there. Today I am doing GREAT, recently graduated from college and learned great tools from Spring Creek Lodge to get me through anything. It is a shock when you first are sent to SCL, but once you work your program, graduate, and stay strong in your beliefs, its amazing what you will accomplish in life! Thank you SCL!

chris- 05-08

i created the family i needed out of friends going through the same trauma there and i replaced my own biological one with them and im grateful because ive never been closer to people but who woluld you rather have your kids be close to oter kids with the same issues or you, the parents they are supposed to look up to, the only parents that can be happy about sending your kids there ar ones that were shitty parents in the first place... and if your kid came back older than 17/18 and stilled talked to u, u most likely had some money involved...


for those of you who posted posotive to this let me tell you as an optimist unlrdd your kid was like me and had 2 sit thru this program for afreading 6 months it is all fakae and yes blah blah fking blah if ur child succeded they were made 2 out of their own will if you accept that as a parrent goody fking too shoes for u but in all honesty ill tell you these programs are worth about 20 dollars a day and u pay 4 grand a month who likes getting it up the butt for their child any1 who is reading this who has child who sent they do with plesure . these people who left comments aboutr going were not bull shyting they meant it if u likr scams bend over its ok meat incomeing

James Boatwright

Wow, I think I knew some of you! I was in Unity initially, and in the SCL for 16 months, 01-03. Hell, I guess I'll have a little courage and throw my name out there. This is James Boatwright. I graduated...I don't really know how some people came out of that experience feeling like they gained. They took my college money, so now I've had to borrow. They destroyed whatever concept of love of justice I once had. There's nothing like having one's own family paying your college money to put you through insanity. Making people do what you want through abusive, coercive means is wrong. I've always known that. Being forced to embrace and then become and enact injustice really damaged my self-respect. I guess I feel like at some point I didn't choose to be there. The whole "there are no accidents, everything that happens you intend" sort of cultist thinking really displays the heart of the program. If you can successfully get someone to adopt that sort of oversimplication/ illogic I guess your king. Can one argue with those that have divorced from compassion and classic morality? No, two wrongs will always make right for some, when the end justifies the means. I won't be having kids as a direct result of SCL, since my stay I've become super cynical. I wish it would have never happened. LOL yay WWASP! You definitely made me see humanity and America for what it is! Have fun with my money, daddy Gilcrest, Dana, Chaffin!

Anonymous there 08-09

chris05-08 you are totally right with the "and if your kid came back older than 17/18 and stilled talked to u, u most likely had some money involved..." comment. I graduated at 18 from the program and am now 21 and the ONLY reason i even speak to my mom is for tuition. Shaw up above is a talking out of his ass cause Jake Shaw was there when i was haha so obviously his son wasnt 'cured'. Nobody died while i was there and i never saw anyone get the shit beaten out of them but they definitely do brain fuck you there. Lets all just be happy that they are closed. I just wish they would take the website's down because my college applications will lead people to that site.

John Doe

WOW! I cant believe I remember this bull shit ass place SPRING CREEK! I wish I could tell you everything but all I can say is that one day I am going to go back there and make sure they shut that place down! All it did was make people fake and once they go back home they are back to the same shit if not they are just more slick about it and parents never find out! When i Left spring creek back in 2004, I waited 3 months before i went back to selling drugs that I learned about while at spring creek! I expanded my knowledge with even more corrupt people than I orginally hung out with! I finally stopped doing all the dumb shit when i turned 18 cause I didnt wanna go to jail and instead used my business skills on the street in the acual work place. I am now living in Germany with a wife and 2 kids and living a successful life thanks to growing up! NOT SPRING CREEK! Spring Creek is definently garbage and ruined a few more years of my life oh and I havent talked to my mom in over 3 years now thanks to that place! She always says how I never learned and I have been clean from drugs since 2006. ANyways that place is garbage and if your kids are doing drugs and stuff just have them talk to bums in the street and go to dumb ass AA meating where people are just worthless and hopefully they will learn and if not then when they turn 18 kick them out of your house! Either way dont waste your money with spring creek! I did witness physical and emotional abuse while I was there! It was totally unacceptable. FYI I am 24 years old now and make well into six figures! If you want something bad enough you will do it! I wanted to be legally rich and I figured it out! Maturity has a huge part in it and spring creek will slow that down!

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