I was sent through Midcourse Correction Challenge Camp over three years ago for drinking, drugs, stealing, bad grades, and just being very unpleasant to be around. While I went through Honor Company, I started to fall off track once again because I would not let go of my old friends, who drank and did drugs, etc. I was lying to everyone especially myself, acting as if I was doing great but the truth was I was spiraling out of control.
My parents went out of town one weekend and left me with my aunt. I lied and took my mom’s car with a friend. We were drunk and were in an accident. My aunt came to get me from the police station and said, “Your parents are on the way home…right now.” It was 2 a.m. I ran inside my house still intoxicated, grabbed [a bottle] of medication, and took the whole bottle. The next thing I remember was waking up in the hospital hooked up to machines and wires. I then had to be transferred to a hospital for the mentally sick.
I was at rock bottom, I felt as this was the end, and I would have to stay in places like that hospital forever. The worst part was that I was okay with it.
A short while after I went to that hospital, I was told [someone] was here to see me. When the door opened, [the director of Midcourse and Honor Company] were there. They stayed and talked with me as long as they were allowed. I never expected that to happen. After all the grief I caused everyone, they still cared. When I got out of the hospital, I was asked to come back to camp. After graduating Honor Company, I became a junior staff for two years.
I am now a college student preparing to enter the medical field; I have a great relationship with my parents and the staff at camp (our Midcourse family). I would like to thank everyone at Midcourse for pushing me to be the best I can be.
A midcourse Graduate
I am currently 17 years old. During my brief life span there have been many ups and downs and things that I have said and done which I have already regretted. If only I could go back and erase these things, I would do it in a very short heartbeat.
I am thankful to God for providing me with my very caring and loving family and consider myself blessed. I was adopted at the age of 2 and that fact did not affect me until I reached my freshman year in high school. That is when my life took a turn for the worse.
It was during my freshman year that I realized what being adopted meant and that my real parents abandoned me; I became angry toward the world and toward my adoptive parents. I reasoned that if my parents didn’t want me, then no one could have me. I began to act out in different ways as a way to bring revenge on my adoptive parents. I became more defiant, uncooperative, and argumentative. In addition to my being adopted, I was also born with only my right arm. During high school I put up with all kinds of hurtful comments, which caused my self-esteem to be greatly diminished.
Up until my freshman year, I shrugged off all the cruel comments, but then I became more resentful of my adoption and my physical disability. Even though my parents were very encouraging and supportive, I still became even more resentful. I started hanging out with my friends and drinking and getting wasted. I started smoking and even fighting in school--all to try to cover up my pain and anger that was on the inside.
My parents tried many things to turn me around and encourage me. Some things worked; some didn’t. One of the things they did that got my attention was signing me up for Midcourse Correction Challenge Camp. This was a real shock to my system. I had to do some things that were difficult. I had to help my team to get over a 12’ wall as well as climb a 40’ wall with just one arm. I couldn’t believe I could ever achieve this but was so proud when I did. I was told things that my adoptive dad told me but just blew off before. The staff taught me that my parents did love me, or they would not have picked me and that I needed to be more confident in myself and not let words get to me. After passing camp, my relationship with my parents changed to the point where I am very appreciative of them and love them dearly. I dropped my old friends and now have friends that do not hinder my growth.
This part of my life is really cool. I have many things lined up for the upcoming months of my life. No, they do not include chilling or partying, but rather graduating from high school, going to a week long Christian Conference, followed by a Mission trip, and later on. college. Following this, I am contemplating of becoming a youth pastor or a high school teacher to help other kids based on the skills I acquired with my sad experiences and save them from undue stress in their own and their parent’s lives.
I...now have friends that don't hinder my growth.
No words could express how we felt coming home from Midcourse challenge Camp with our son. He always seemed to lack a sense of self-worth or self-confidence. He was smoking pot and lacked a sense of purpose, and he didn’t see the harm in the choices he was making. It was hard to watch and not know how to fix as parents. After we found out what he had been doing this summer, we signed him up after learning about MCCC through a friend who had sent two of his children with great results.
We acted quickly and sent him for a weekend at Midcourse. When we watched the graduation, we wondered how he would feel about what we had done, and whether one weekend could really have the big of impact. When we walked up to him, he said, “I get to come back,” which was the last thing we expected to hear. For a moment, we were confused because he had graduated. He had the t-shirt on, so why would he be coming back? Then he told us he had been asked to return for Honor Company.
He is now playing football, working on homework, (without being told to), and taking responsibility for his world. He is now talking about his future and is figuring out things he can do now to get where he wants to be.
Now he is looking forward to returning to Honor Company. His story is not complete yet, but we are so thankful we found Midcourse.
Mike and Nancy
How can I ever thank you? From where my son started to where he is now, is almost a miracle. Failing grades, lying, you name it--he was on his way. Just a year and a half ago, on that snowy winter day, we took...that little trip to Midcourse Correction Weekend Camp. I knew I had to do something or his future would be lost. He was on the wrong path and I was determined to put him on the correct path. Ultimately, with your help, he found the correct path, with some detours, but he passed camp with pride, the help of Honor Company (which he graduated in April 2010) and especially the last visit with the sergeants.
He is a lovely child. He is fun to be around again. He is very funny, and he actually enjoys being with the family again, and we love it too. His grades turned around that next semester, and over the last year and a half, he has found the path of better behavior. Yes he has had some detours; however, returning quarterly to Honor Camp helped him to stay on track. When I ask him to complete a chore, homework, or help in anyway, he does it without all the huffing and puffing like before. It is so pleasant. I honestly can not thank you enough.
I only hope that other parents/families understand the overall gift you give to the children and their families, and hopefully they take advantage of your experience. Your gifts are immeasurable. These benefits are for present control and for future peace. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for my son back.
I’m honestly without word this morning. My daughter attended your camp in the month of June. She had never been a very difficult child, but over the last school year, she had become withdrawn and depressed. She started refusing to turn in her assignments, and she was lying about her school work. Her all “A” report card turned into progress reports filled with “D’s” and “F’s”.
I dropped her off on Friday evening at MCCC totally devastated about what I was going to put my daughter through for the weekend. I didn’t think she’d ever speak to me again, but I was TOTALLY wrong. After graduation, she walked into my arms crying (the first open hug I’ve received in a year). Her tears weren’t of sadness but of elation. She talked non-stop for three hours after we picked her up. We knew everything about her weekend; it’s the most she’s spoken in months.
Just before she crashed for the evening (she was exhausted), I stopped in to say goodnight. I asked her how she was feeling, and these were her words: “I’m sore mom, but not bad sore. It’s actually a good sore. I can’t even tell you how it feels inside to know what I accomplished in two days. I actually climbed that wall, and when I was up there, and I rang that bell, there was no other feeling like it.” Her words weren’t the best part; it was the inner glow that emanated from her. You REALLY made a difference in her life, and I can’t thank you enough for that.
We have yet to see how she does with school next year, but she’s really looking forward to participating in Honor Company, and I can imagine that she’s once again on the right path. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!
As a probation officer for the last 6 years, I have used many programs for intervention in helping the youth of my community. I have found that the Midcourse Correction program is one of the best. I utilize this program not only as a consequence for youth but also a form of intervention when a youth needs a taste of structure and discipline that they may not have within their own homes. The Midcourse Correction program is also valuable in that their staff are able to develop a rapport with the youth and provide feedback to me about how the youth is while away from their home. I have found that the staff’s ability to use positive reinforcement in a team concept provides the youth with an opportunity to learn self-control and leadership qualities in them that they would never have the possibility to do within the community.
Juvenile Probation Officer
The strength of Midcourse Correction’s program continues to be its unique combination of punishment and positive personal growth. Changed attitude, increased problem solving skills, effective teamwork, taking responsibility for oneself, and increased confidence are seen through this experience. The physical challenges and group initiatives bring about an awareness of new found abilities, while also teaching the consequences of choices and the responsibility they must take in making these choices.
County Circuit Court Family Division
I would like to recommend Midcourse Correction for at-risk-youth. They have over thirty years of experience of helping kids gain self-confidence and to have a higher concern for the effect their choices have on others. It’s a place to help youth who are on a self-destructive path.
Midcourse has a top-notch staff who work intensively with the youth placed there and always follow up with written reports on the progress these youth are making while there.
I would highly recommend Midcourse Correction as an alternative child placement consequence. We have had a lot of good results with their facility.
Family Court Judge
Midcourse Correction provides a structured, behaviorally oriented weekend experience to youths who need to understand that their behavior has an impact on others. Often, these youth have difficulty accepting responsibility for their behavior, blame others, and have no concept of the impact their behavior has on their families, peers, or society on the whole. These are youth for whom traditional therapy has little impact. They are kids who are headed for interface with the legal system if nothing changes. These kids are typically having problems in all areas of their lives, as they have difficulty accepting authority. I have sent two youth to Midcourse Correction, and both have returned exhibiting more positive behavior and attitude. Both these kids have been in the mental health system for years, and various treatment modalities have not been effective. I believe that this type of intervention is very effective for some youth who have not responded to anything else. This program is a definite benefit to our clients, and I am happy to professionally support this effort.
Family Mental Health Worker
Midcourse has been a great resource for our very rural county. We often times search for a quick consequence that does not involve detention. We have found Midcourse Correction to be a fine alternative. We appreciate the emphasis on choices and consequences as well as the individual and team building exercises. The youth return from their weekends often very tired but with a sense of accomplishment. Midcourse Correction will not alleviate all delinquency but rather help the youth gain the personal skills that they may be missing, which surely contributes to their delinquent activities. We have appreciated our working relationship with Midcourse Correction.
County Circuit Court
The adolescents referred to your program many times have struggled with making good choices. The Midcourse Correction program offers a wake-up call to these youth who are heading down a path of self-destruction on many levels. The weekend experience for most youth assists them to believe in themselves and recognize that they can be successful. For many youth that come through the court system, a program that offers skills on teamwork effective communication, and taking responsibility for their own choices is invaluable to being a step in the right direction to guiding these youth to living productive lives. We would like to extend our support and appreciation for the Midcourse Correction program and its ability to offer an alternative consequence to youth in our community.
Family Court Probation Officer