New Hope Wilderness

Rt. 1 Box 416 
Ava, MO 65608

(417) 683-9793.

Paul and Velma Griffis


Boys and Girls

Call admissions department for current tuition.

21 Days

New Hope is designed to help young men and women build character, acquire self-discipline, develop stamina, increase accountability, and to learn appreciation of others. New Hope specializes in the treatment of young men and women between the ages of 11-20, who are experiencing conduct and behavior problems. The individual treatment planning at New Hope is aimed at facilitating a change of heart, healing and strengthening family relationships, and inviting new beginnings. We have one competent staff member for every two young people.

New Hope is an arena for relationships, a dedication to excellence, and a commitment from our staff to be involved with the young people, working together to provide a setting for change in the heart of struggling kids. We offer hope and direction to families caught in crisis situations with their teens.

New Hope is structured to facilitate change in the hearts of these youth from a Christian perspective. Our program is a 21 day program, where the young people and qualified staff live deep in the woods in tents. All of the demands of everyday living takes place there, isolated from all of modern-day conveniences. We use horses as the main activity to work with the youth. The first 2 weeks is all done with ground work with the horses, which also facilitates therapy as well as hard work. In the last week, we actually teach the young people to ride and spend time doing some trail riding. Each day, there are required physical exercises that we do together.

Equine therapy.

Introduction to the Therapeutic Farm Program
At New Hope, the values that are important to us include:

the safety of all participants, human and animal;
respect for all;
the courage to try new things without judging the outcome;
cooperation and negotiation with others;
personal growth and learning;
balancing consistency and flexibility; and
We believe that through the process of building relationships with animals and the natural environment an individual will come to accept accountability for their behavior. This process also allows individuals to develop and improve communication with others and to manage the expression of feelings with greater clarity.

It is important to us that we provide a safe environment in which to:

discover and nurture strengths, interests and talents;
support effort toward change;
establish consistent and stable relationships;
improve interpersonal skills;
enhance self-worth and empowerment;
identify and develop individual learning styles;
gain knowledge, communication and copying skills through farm experiences; and
conduct Equine Assisted Activities/Equine Assisted Therapy (EAA/EAT)
You will be introduced to safety aspects of being around animals during your initial sessions. Attention to safety issues by all involved will be a regular part of each session. If you are the parent/guardian of a program participant, your interest in the process and activities is important. Please notify the therapist of any significant behavioral/emotional or physical changes, which may impact activities.

It is important for us to have an understanding of the participant's physical strengths and weaknesses. This information might include flexibility, hearing/sight impairments, endurance, balances, allergies, skin sensitivities, cardiac problems, and dexterity. Please let us know of any problems which arise during physical activities so that we may develop sessions accordingly.

We wish to keep participation in our program a productive experience for all. Physical contact between participants does occur. It is our expectation that everyone (staff and participants) will maintain appropriate physical and personal boundaries.

Program participants should wear clothing suitable to being in a barn and animal oriented environment. We will assist you to meet this standard in any way we can. The therapist will discuss the particulars of this with you prior to your first session. A session will not proceed if the participant's clothing is unsuitable.

The ultimate goal of New Hope is to see the young people making positive choices in their lives, changing their heart attitudes positively, to facilitate a better relationship with their parents. We certainly believe Jesus Christ is the focal point for change, after one recognizes a heart need.

scholarships up to $2000 available for those who qualify

My family and I have been missionaries among the Yanomamö Indians for 27 years. We have 5 children, 4 married and actively serving the Lord. Our youngest is still at home in High School. We have lived, for the most part, 300 miles into the Amazon Jungle of Venezuela and Brazil. We are experts in Jungle Survival, as well as in using horses to facilitate behavioral changes. I am an Equine Specialist, Equine Assisted Learning specialist and EAGALA certified. I coached both varsity football and basketball in Florida. We have 30 years experience in teaching, counseling, and coaching, ranging from youth to adults.

Equine assistance wilderness

Wilderness Programs

(417) 683-9793.

We Can Help!

We help hundreds of families.
Some of the services we offer:

  • Admissions Counseling
  • Crisis Placement Services
  • free advice on programs
  • Interim short, 3-5 day crisis placements awaiting long term placements
  • Pre-screened Places for Children, Adolescents, Teens and Young Adults
  • Recommendation of preferred schools and programs
  • Teen Transportation Services

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