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Diakon Wilderness Center - Wilderness Programs

Submit an Entry: Wilderness Programs for Troubled Teens Directory

By William Swanger

Program Name

Diakon Wilderness Center

Contact Information

Corey Carothers, Administrator
Diakon Wilderness Center
571 Mountain Road, Box 10
Boiling Springs, PA 17007
Phone: (717) 960-6700

URL: http://www.diakon.org/wildernesscenter/

Costs? Scholarships or financial assistance available?

Private referrals considered. Diakon Youth Services also provides occasional scholarships for youths previously served by organizational programs. Contact the center for information.

Where is this program located?

Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania.

How many teens does your program serve at one time?

The program has historically served from 10 to 30 youths in its residential program. The program works with teens individually and in groups. The court-focused residential program is in transition because of changing county needs. Currently, the center maintains a 30-day wilderness challenge program, a day treatment educationally focused program, a weekend alternative program for youths in other placement (in Pa.) on weekdays, and a Flight mentoring program for youths who have aged out of the children and youth system. Only the weekend program is co-educational. The others are male-only currently.

What is a typical day like for a teen in your program?

Youths in the various programs are involved in vocational training (there is an on-site wood shop and a state-of-the-art greenhouse), culinary skills, individualized educational programming, wilderness excursions and challenges (the center has a 50-foot Alpine climbing tower), and public service projects. The center also provides counseling and related services through other Diakon programs.


  • The center is operated by an organization that has been serving children and youths since 1868.
  • The center focused on individual accountability and responsibility.
  • The organization operating the program believes that every person is a unique gift of God to be respected and valued.
  • The wilderness center itself has been serving at-risk teens since the 1980s.
  • The focus of the center is on helping youths to become productive, caring, and responsible members of society.

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