Second Nature Wilderness Program FamilyLightsm: Successor to Bridge to Understandingsm
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 This is the Major Provider Group in which we have the greatest confidence for consistent quality in wilderness  programming.  There are individual wilderness programs in which we equal confidence that are either independent or are individual programs within another chain of programs.  There are none in which we have greater confidence. (Article continues below box)

FamilyLightsm is an educational consulting firm specializing in work with families with a young person with behavioral, emotional or psychological difficulties.  We offer in-depth personal guidance to families on a fee basis and free guidance on the internet. FamilyLightsm attempts to be fully objective and accepts no advertising nor referral fees. The only revenue at FamilyLightsm comes from client fees. 

Second Nature Wilderness Program is actually a family of programs, each of which is separately incorporated with somewhat different ownership in each case. Usually, the on-site director of each program location is a part owner of that particular program but not a part owner of Second Nature over-all.    

The signature item at Second Nature from the beginning has been high quality clinical service integrated with a previously proven wilderness program model.  Wilderness programs are sometimes confused with boot camps. In general, this is a bad comparison.  In the case of Second Nature Wilderness Program, this is a particularly bad comparison.  Boot camps are in-your-face replicas of army and marine corps basic training. There usually no way for the young people to form positive relationships with more mature staff or to be guided by more mature staff as positive role models.  Second Nature Wilderness Program, like most therapeutic wilderness programs operates from a relationship based clinical model that is totally different from a boot camp.

Special Services:

  • Intensive medication management

  • Over 18 or close to 18

  • Special groups for "Softer" kids -- no known drug history -- no extreme defiance -- no conduct disorder (this refers to selected groups for this purpose. Services for a more general population are available at all Second Nature locations)

    • Blue Ridge Footsteps (We include Footsteps because younger kids tend to be softer kids.  Footsteps does not, to our knowledge have separate groups specifically for softer kids compared to others in the age group).

    • Cascades

    • Uintas (Duchesne)

  • Under 14 years of age

Programs  (all for adolescent programming except as indicated): 

Second Nature's own website


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Struggling Teens on Second Nature


Feedback is invited. We will publish any feedback in good taste from Second Nature 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 2-28-09;


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