|Posted by Roland R. Hansen on March 21, 2021 at 8:15 AM|
This testimony was located on Reddit (link). Hope Ranch aka Star Meadows Academy is closed but the legacy of their strange school uniforms remain forever
I’ve lurked in this subreddit for a long time and made an account to post and share my experience with you guys. I’m almost 40 now and the tldr of it is that it fucked me up.
I was sent to Wilderness Treatment in 1997 when I was 16 years old. Like many of us, I came from an abusive and neglectful family. After I expressed some self destructive and suicidal behaviour, my parents put me into an inpatient treatment facility for 2 weeks. I expect this is where they were given the idea to send me to Wilderness Treatment.
After the inpatient facility, I was sent to Idaho. The school had a bunch of resident kids there but we weren’t allowed to interact. 2 of us lived in a cabin with 2 counselors until we went into the woods for 3 months. This part was actually really nice; my counselors were decent, in it for the right reasons type of people. Once we got back to the house in Idaho, things changed. We were given a 3 day solo, where we were not allowed to leave our camping spot, not allowed to speak to anyone, and given half a day’s ration of food for the whole three days. We had to sleep in the open air, no tents, no heat, and I remember seeing lots of bugs and worms out at night. I was so hungry. It was horrible.
After my solo I was sent further upstate to a place that is now shut down. There were...6 of us? The food was moldy. The house was full of stink bugs and we found maggots living in the mop. We told the counselors, but the mop wasn’t replaced the whole time I was there. We had to do 2 hours of PT every morning and if you opted out, you had to sit on a stump with a 3” diameter for the rest of the day. Phone calls were monitored. They made fun of us and took opportunities to be mean to us and said it was to make us appreciate our parents. I think I spent 6 months there before my parents sent me to a different school.
Hope Ranch. I don’t remember the names of the others but I remember this one. Abusive Christians hiding behind The Bible. They would perform exorcisms on us if we misbehaved. A few of the counselors lived there with their children and they encouraged their kids to be mean to us. It was so demeaning, being berated by an 8 year old. Some girls said they were molested by one of the counselors but I wasn’t. I ended up running away from that place.
My parents took me back in but looking back at it, I wish I had just left.
My relationship with my parents was pretty good for awhile, but I recently had a kid and all of these memories came flooding back, fresh as ever. I am low contact with them and they think it is because I live far away, when in truth I just can’t stand to look at them.