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22 Day Therapeutic Wilderness Expedition

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Blackwater Outdoor Experiences

13805 Village Mill Drive

Midlothian, VA 23114

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BOE works with participants who are at risk adolescents and young adults who are engaged in negative behaviors, drug experimentation and abuse, academic difficulties, poor family and peer relationships, or struggle with depression, anxiety, and other mental health challenges ranging from ADHD, learning disabilities, processing disorders, bipolar, and others. BOE has been affiliated with the private practice of Dr. George Bright, Adolescent and Family Health Center, (AFHC),, since the beginning in 1980.

Our 22 day wilderness expeditions are clinically focused with daily group therapy and individual therapy happening one on one in a relaxed, relational setting. All of this occurs while canoeing, backpacking, and rock climbing and utilizing the natural lessons from the surrounding wilderness and activities.

The highlights of the BOE program are:

1. Maximum 6 students per expedition. Ranging from 17-28 year olds, and ages 14-17 during summer.

2. Field Staff: A Master’s level therapist and a field guide with the group for the entire twenty-two days.

3. No escorted or court mandated students, no physical restraints are used by BOE staff.

4. Licensed therapists provide family therapy for one hour twice a week for the twenty-two days, six total sessions for an expedition.

5. Twice weekly collaboration with the field therapist and treatment team for full clinical updates about the field and family work

6. Weekly consultation during expedition with the referring team to coordinate the treatment plan and after care protocol

7. Dr. George Bright, Medical Director, is involved daily if indicated to coordinate and update medication management

8. Parent Weekend: Students, family members, and BOE conduct large group and individual family therapy through a variety of activities and conversations. Including consultation with Dr. Bright, individual aftercare recommendations, and a family plan for moving forward.

9. Discharge Summary: The discharge summary is sent to the referral source and families within ten days after the completed program.

10. Cost: $11,000 for entire expedition, family work, etc. (students are asked to bring clothing, and a few personal items) for August 27th expedition and $13,200 for the remaining expeditions of 2017.

11. Scholarships: Wilderness Alternatives, Inc., a 501C3 not-for-profit corporation provides limited scholarships for those families in need.

Our most up to date expedition schedule can be found at We would welcome any questions that you may have and hope to serve those students and families you feel would benefit from our comprehensive therapeutic program.

Andrew Sporrer, Program Director & Logistics Officer, can be reached at 804-378-9006 ext. 2 or by email at

Dr. Bright, Medical Director, can be reached at his office 804-794-8900, cell phone 804-564-6068, or by email at

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Blackwater Outdoor Experiences

13805 Village Mill Drive

Midlothian, VA 23114

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