Second Nature Entrada
                         (Young Adult)

  (Construction continues. You may find dead links and other incomplete entries.  This entry is incomplete)



Second Nature's Entrada program operates in both Utah and Nevada.  Its base is in a store front on the main street in Santa Clara Utah, abutting St. George, Utah, Entrada.  Groups for people under 18 are on the Utah side of the border; the groups for 18s and older function across the border in Nevada. For further information for Entrada students under 18 who will not turn 18 while in program, please look at our main Entrada page.

Entrada Young Adult is, as the name implies, a service for young adults who need the same kinds of intervention that we seek for adolescents with a special sensitivity for the fact that these young adults have the legal privilege of leaving whenever they choose.  It is equipped, in addition to the things we generally expect of wilderness programs, to assist their students in making the decisions appropriate to people who are legally adults. In other words the difference between the adolescent and young adult groups is not just that the young adult groups are for people who cannot legally be in program with younger teens, but they really do focus on issues more appropriate to young adults. 

This should be kept in mind when choosing between an adolescent wilderness program that can legally include people 18 years of age or older vs, a program focused on the needs of people 18 and older. This is a worthy consideration even when choosing between Second Nature Entrada Young Adult and Second Nature Blue Ridge, where the latter can legally accommodate young adults in an adolescent group.

FamilyLightsm recently (this is being written on July 24, 2008) referred a young man who had just turned 18 to Beth Fogel's group at Entrada young adult.  The parents had been reluctant to have their son in a young adult setting due to their son's immaturity.   However, as it turns out he was certainly not the only immature 18 year old in the group.  Beth working her usual magic integrated this highly resistant young man who claimed to hate camping into the group, has him addressing his issues in a way that months of programming elsewhere had not, and has him actually liking the wilderness. 

One of the special talents is the transition of people who enter the program under 18 and have their 18th birthday while in the wilderness.  FamilyLightsm referred one such young man to wilderness in January, 2008 several months prior to writing this.  He was not happy to be in wilderness. However, he acclimated to the wilderness very quickly in the adolescent group. It was not clear to the staff that he was prepared to sign himself into the program as an adult when he turned 18.  So approaching his 18th birthday, the staff took him on a "walkabout" a therapeutic exercise where two staff go on an expedition with one client to focus attention on that client's issues.  At the end of the Walkabout, it was his birthday and time to go to the young adult group, which he was then ready to do. 

The other special service at Entrada is medication management. Students at Entrada can go to the base office and meet face to face by teleconference with the Second Nature Wilderness Program psychiatrist back in Salt Lake City subject to psychiatrist availability.  On this basis, Entrada can work with students who will need expert medication management and adjustment while in wilderness.

Entrada also offers a relatively mild climate where the under 18 groups are located -- milder than Second Nature Duchesne (Entrada Young Adult uses more rugged high country in nearby Nevada).

Second Nature Wilderness programs are what we call "full immersion" wilderness programs. Parents who have no idea what happens in a full immersion wilderness program might read Shouting at the Sky by Gary Ferguson. The base line program at all Second Nature Wilderness locations is roughly similar to what is in this book. Second Nature was initially patterned after the wilderness program Gary Ferguson wrote about (which was not a Second Nature program). When several people left the program described in Shouting at the Sky to create the Second Nature organization, their principal innovation was to create a clinically driven program.

By "clinically driven" we mean two things.  First, the intervention with the student in wilderness is individually directed by a licensed clinician.   Second, while the customary procedures in day-to-day programming at Second Nature adolescent programs are quite similar to what is depicted in Shouting at the Sky, the therapists have the authority to overrule almost any routine of the program for an individual student if to do so is in the interest of that student and does not harm other students.  This was not true in the program depicted in Shouting at the Sky. There, the program traditions could not be violated. We prefer the flexibility that occurs with a clinician having such wide latitude.

Examples: Full immersion wilderness programs usually do not allow the student to see or ride in vehicles, make phone calls, or leave the assigned group for any reason.  At a Second Nature program students might be given an opportunity to speak to parents by (satellite) phone. They might be allowed to leave their own group and participate in group therapy in a different group, especially if they have a prior relationship with a person in the other group,  just as two examples.  One of our FamilyLightsm clients in the young adult program at Second Nature Entrada was allowed to leave the group to go to and interview for his next program, then return. 

We will not list the names of therapists at Second Nature Wilderness Program who have served our clients well for fear of accidentally leaving someone out, but we believe that the quality standards of therapists at Second Nature programs are the highest we have experienced consistently in a multi-program organization.

Second Nature programming fares well with respect to our guidelines.  We would like to see better attention to our guidelines on Spiritual Life and Religion and on Outcomes. (We do not mean that we believe their outcomes are substandard, but we would like to see more outcome research.)  Most programs fall short on both of these issues.  We would like to see much more attention to these issues both at Second Nature and throughout the industry.  Because Second Nature Wilderness programs are short term wilderness programs (usually 6-8 weeks) they make no claim to prepare most of the clients who go there to return home immediately after the program; some of our guidelines do not apply.  

Second Nature Wilderness Program shows particular strength with family participation, staffing, safety and marketing and promotion, as we compare Second Nature Wilderness Program with our guidelines.  They put tremendous energy into keeping parents in close communication with what is happening with their son or daughter. In the fall of 2007 and the spring of 2008, Second Nature intensified its already excellent family services by adding access to parent mentors and and a series of parent webinars every two weeks conducted by Brad Reedy.  This is in addition to the intensive communication between therapists and parents back home that is characteristic of wilderness programs.  Parents are strongly urged to come to the program at some point -- usually just as their son or daughter is getting ready to leave -- and stay overnight in the field with their son or daughter. 

Second Nature Wilderness Program puts great emphasis on quality relationships between students and frontline (field) staff, guided by each client's therapist, consistent with our Staffing Guideline.  We are completely unaware of any examples of objectionable marketing and promotion. We are particularly pleased on the issue of safety that all field groups carry satellite phones, the most reliable means of communication.  (They also have two way radios with repeaters connecting them to base, which is monitored 24-7). This provides two communications systems which render unlikely a situation in which both would fail at the same time. 

Over-all we believe that the Second Nature Wilderness Program organization provides the highest consistent quality of any chain of wilderness programs and Entrada very much exemplifies those high standards.  There are also individual wilderness programs we believe are just as strong (including a few that are parts of chains but stand out for quality beyond the rest of the chains they are part of) but we affirm Second Nature as the highest consistent quality wilderness chain.   

Second Nature Wilderness Program's own website


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Struggling Teens on Second Nature Wilderness Program


Feedback is invited. We will publish any feedback in good taste from Second Nature Wilderness Program and will publish selected feedback from other sources. Email:


Disclaimer: No  program review, no matter how positive, is a blanket endorsement. No criticism is a blanket condemnation.  When we express our level of confidence in a school or program, that is our subjective opinion with which others might reasonably disagree.  When we assert something as fact, we have done our best to be accurate, but we cannot guarantee that all of our information is accurate and up to date. When we address compliance with our guidelines, you need to remember that these are only OUR guidelines -- not guidelines from an official source.  We have also set the bar very high, and do not expect any school or program to be in total compliance.  It is not appropriate to draw a conclusion of impropriety (or even failure to live up to conventional wisdom) from our lack of confidence in a school or program or from less than perfect conformity to our guidelines.  Some will say we expect too much. Readers are responsible for verifying accuracy of information supplied here prior to acting upon it. We are not responsible for inaccuracies.


Last updated 7-27-08; minor edits up to  2-20-09


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