Camping in Mountains


Leather Working Tools

Alumni Follow Up

We are committed to following up with our students after they have graduated the program and have moved into the next steps of their lives.  Even though we are no longer taking an active part in their therapeutic journey, we still like to keep in touch to see how life is going.  And to provide further assistance where we can.  Our Alumni Director will follow up with your family at 3, 6, and 12-month marks post-graduation.  


A message from our Alumni Director, Josh “Moose” Leavitt

" I understand what it’s like to go from spending time with our students out in the wilderness, witnessing and sharing the highs and lows of their experience, only to never see them again.  Because of this reality, my favorite part of our staff meetings is and always has been hearing the updates on our alumni students.  It’s such a rewarding feeling to learn about the things they’re doing with their lives post treatment.  I’m honored to get the opportunity in my current role to follow up with our Star Guides families and participate in our research efforts.  It truly is a privilege to get to do this work.  Talk with you soon! "    - Moose

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STAR Guides Wilderness Research Outcome Data

STAR Guides students show statistically significant progress from when they begin treatment to when they graduate the program and beyond.  For this instrument (a lower score equals less mental health distress), a clinically significant drop is 13 points.


Our research results show that parents perceive their son or daughter at an average score of 98 when they arrive and an average score of 24 when they graduate, then it climbs into the low 50's and maintains that score throughout the year. 


These outcomes communicate several different items: 

  • The first being that STAR Guides students drop an average of 74 points between day 1 and their graduation of the program.  

  • The second would be that there tends to be a regression that occurs with transition and step-down to less controlled settings that results in the scores climbing into the low 50's. 


This is a phenomenon that the YOQ data from all treatment programs/settings concludes and is not limited to STAR Guides. These findings emphasize the importance of providing youth with continued structure and therapeutic support in order to ensure that any backsliding behaviors be contained.   

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Student & Family Exit Evaluation

Data Expressing Client Satisfaction with Curriculum:
STAR Guides 2017 to 2021

Wilderness Therapy, like any form of therapy, isn’t meant to be easy. Our clients approach us, because they don’t have solutions for the behavioral conflicts within their families. STAR Guides challenges our students and parents to step outside of their comfort zone in order to facilitate change. We do this safely and effectively. Despite the difficulty of the program itself—or perhaps, because of—most of our clients exit our program with a sense of accomplishment and appreciation. The data and comments depicted in this presentation demonstrate the overwhelming satisfaction of our clients with the current curriculum we implement in our program.

Exit Evaluations From 2017 to 2021

Student and parent surveys completed respectively immediately after graduation from Star Guides.
Isolated questions expressed on scatter plots using the Likert Scale. For example 7 represents “strongly agree” where 1 represents “strongly disagree”


Student & Family Exit Evaluation

Highlights from our Past Alumni Events

Our Research


STAR Guides is proud to be endorsed as a Research Designated Program by the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs.

Our research consists of collecting data through the Y-OQ measure detailed below.  A baseline is established at enrollment by the youth and their parents.  While in treatment, a Y-OQ is completed every 14 days by the youth and their assigned therapist.  Parents, along with their child, then complete the questionnaire at graduation then 90, 180, 365 days post discharge.  


What does the Y-OQ measure? 

  • Intrapersonal Distress (ID) - Anxiety, depression, fearfulness, etc. 

  • Somatic Distress (S) - Headache, stomach, bowel, dizziness, etc. 

  • Interpersonal Relationships (IR) - Attitude, communication and interaction with parents, adults, and peers. 

  • Critical Items (CI) - Paranoid ideation, suicide, hallucinatory, delusions, etc. 

  • Social Problems (SP) - Delinquent or aggressive behaviors, breaking social mores. 

  • Behavioral Dysfunction (BD) - Organize and complete tasks, handle frustration, impulsivity, inattention.