This is a  staff list for SageWalk in Redmond, OR

This program is closed.

(a.k.a. Aspen Education Group, The Wilderness School, )

(we are working to acquire the complete records for ALL years)

 

We advise current and/or former staff to report any abuses you may have witnessed while working at SageWalk.  For information on your rights and how to take action, visit www.heal-online.org/blowthewhistle.htm.  If you were fired or forced to resign because you opposed any illegal and/or unethical practices at SageWalk, you have the right to take action. 

 

If you were harmed (family or survivor) by SageWalk, please contact info@heal-online.org if you remember the long-term employees and from which years.  This will help!   Also, if you recognize any of these staff as having worked at another program, please send in any information about their past or present employment at other facilities and/or cults.

 

 

This program is closed.

 

Name

Unit/Position

Additional Information
Randi Shol Academics Director  
Ellen McBride Operations Director  
Darlene S. (no last name) Office Asst. Darlene has worked with mostly military families for 19 years in various programs. Darlene has worked at Sagewalk for 3 years (as of July, 2009).
Jeanie Traxtle Human Resources Mgr. Jeanie has been apart of SageWalk for over 4 years.  Her cult name "Silver Raccoon Emerging".
Sarah Casson Admissions Previous to beginning her employment here at SageWalk in 2005, Sarah was an intern at St. Mary‘s Boys Home.  Sarah's cult name is "Obsidian Hummingbird".
Lisa Velasquez Admissions  
PJ Swan (female) Family Services Director Cult Name "Dancing Red Hawk".
Matthew Lauzon Family Transition Staff For thirteen years Matt has worked in [unnamed] mental health and social service positions with adults, children, and teens in psychiatric hospitals, treatment centers, group homes, and summer camps with the primary focus on teens.  Lauzon has worked at SageWalk since 2007.* 
Alexander MacDonald Clinical Director In 1999 he pursued a career with CEDU Family of Services in Northern Idaho.
Trudy Godat Therapist Cult Name "Aspen Song".
Laurie Wilmot Therapist Cult Name "Painted Sage"
Joshua Lacrosse Counselor  
Michael Bednarz Executive Director  
Little Big Bear Joseph Program Supervisor Not believed to be real name--but listed as staff on the SageWalk website.  The following staff names are also strange/unprofessional/cult-like.
Balancing Bobcat Champeng Spirit Chaser (cult-like title) Not believed to be real name--but listed as staff on the SageWalk website.  The following staff names are also strange/unprofessional/cult-like.  Has worked for SageWalk since 2007.
Steelhead Rising Dean Logistics  
Devin Jenkins Field Manager He has over 13 years of experience in [unnamed] Outdoor Youth Programs.
Renee B. (no last name given for Renee and those that follow with last initial only) Field Instructor Renee has worked with troubled youth for a few years.  She has worked at a boarding school on the east coast for awhile and missed the west coast so returned back to Bend and to SageWalk.
Ben B. Field Instructor  
Ken B. Field Instructor  
Scott D. Field Instructor Scott has experience working in unnamed group homes & Residential treatment Facilities.*
Charles H. Field Instructor  
Racall Hauptmann Field Instructor  
Anthony M. Field Instructor  
Emily M. Field Instructor  
Colleen P. Field Instructor  
James R. Field Instructor  
Artic Lynx Richard (male) Field Instructor Not believed to be real name--but listed as staff on the SageWalk website.  The staff name is strange/unprofessional/cult-like. She previously worked in  an unnamed residential care facility.
Aaron S. Field Instructor  
Angie W. Field Instructor  
Desert Rain Anthony Head Instructor Not believed to be real name--but listed as staff on the SageWalk website.  The staff name is strange/unprofessional/cult-like.
Blue Forest Sunshine James Head Instructor Not believed to be real name--but listed as staff on the SageWalk website.  The staff name is strange/unprofessional/cult-like. He has worked with adolescents for 2 years, first at a Residential Treatment Facility and then at another Wilderness Therapy Foundation.
Matthew P. Head Instructor  
Blue River Wolf Ricky Spirit Chaser Not believed to be real name--but listed as staff on the SageWalk website.  The staff name is strange/unprofessional/cult-like. He has worked in Wilderness Therapy for over 2 years.
Waking Journey Sharon Head Instructor Not believed to be real name.  The staff name is strange/unprofessional/cult-like.  She has worked in the wilderness / recovery field for over two years.*
Summer Star Staff Not believed to be real name.  The staff name is strange/unprofessional/cult-like.  Reported by survivor on May 7th, 2011
Kate (no last name) Staff Reported by survivor on May 7th, 2011
Ethan (no last name) Staff Reported by survivor on May 7th, 2011
Cheetah Staff Not believed to be real name.  The staff name is strange/unprofessional/cult-like.  Reported by survivor on May 7th, 2011
Dolphin Staff Not believed to be real name.  The staff name is strange/unprofessional/cult-like.  Reported by survivor on May 7th, 2011
Beth (no last name) Staff Reported by survivor on May 7th, 2011
Raci (no last name) Staff Reported by survivor on May 7th, 2011
Tristan (no last name) Staff Reported by survivor on May 7th, 2011
Cedar Sky Staff Not believed to be real name.  The staff name is strange/unprofessional/cult-like.  Reported by survivor on May 7th, 2011
Sherry LiaBraaten Nurse There is no additional information on staff at this program at this time.*
*(SageWalk, like many other programs in this industry, keeps a "tight lid" on any specific information regarding their staff, qualifications, and practices.  Please contact us with the names of any staff of which you have firsthand knowledge or experience.  Thank you for your help.)

Redmond wilderness school [SageWalk--Aspen Education Group] suspends operations--September 15th, 2009--A Redmond-based wilderness school said Tuesday it has agreed to suspend operations amid state and Lake County investigations into the death of a 16-year-old Portland boy on his first hike with the school, in a remote area east of Bend late last month.

Word of the halt to operations came one day after Lake County sheriff's deputies traveled from Lakeview and executed a search warrant at the Redmond office of SageWalk Wilderness School, as part of its continuing investigation into the death of Sergey Blashchishen.  For complete story, click here.  For more on this story, click here.

SageWalk (ABC's "Brat Camp) acquired by Aspen Education Group:  Aspen Education Group, a provider of therapeutic education to underachieving or struggling young people, has bought SageWalk. For complete story, click here.
Portland teen collapses and dies during wilderness camp hike--September 1, 2009--(Webmater Note:  Aspen Education Group kills another kid)  The Lake County Sheriff's Office is investigating the death of a Portland teen who collapsed during a hike as part of a wilderness camp exercise, a spokesman said today. Sergey Blashchishen, 16, died Friday after collapsing about 2:30 p.m., said Deputy Chuck Pore. An autopsy was performed on Sunday but the results are incomplete and a cause of death has not been determined, Pore said.   Investigators are trying to find out if Blashchishen, who lived in Northeast Portland, had any medical problems that might have contributed to his death, Pore said. He had passed a physical the day before he died. Blashchishen was attending the SageWalk wilderness school, a program for troubled teens based in Redmond. He was hiking with a group in northern Lake County between Burns and Bend when he got sick. "He said he didn't feel good and shortly after that collapsed," Pore said. The Bureau of Land Management has suspended the permit for SageWalk to operate on BLM land, pending the outcome of the investigation. It could not be confirmed if Blashchishen was on BLM property when he collapsed.  For complete story, click here.  (For more on this story, click here, here, here, and here.)
Redmond wilderness school [SageWalk--Aspen Education Group] suspends operations--September 15th, 2009-- A Redmond-based wilderness school said Tuesday it has agreed to suspend operations amid state and Lake County investigations into the death of a 16-year-old Portland boy on his first hike with the school, in a remote area east of Bend late last month. Word of the halt to operations came one day after Lake County sheriff's deputies traveled from Lakeview and executed a search warrant at the Redmond office of SageWalk Wilderness School, as part of its continuing investigation into the death of Sergey Blashchishen.  For complete story, click here.  For more on this story, click here.
Autopsy: Teen had heat stroke at summer camp, killing him--October 21st, 2009--BEND, Ore. – Preliminary autopsy findings in a summer camp death may lead to criminal charges for staff members. [HEAL Note:  This occurred at an Aspen Education Group program called SageWalk.]  For complete story, click here.  For more on this story, click here.
Homicide charges possible in SageWalk student death--March 30th, 2010--Officials with the parent company of Redmond's SageWalk Wilderness School could soon be facing homicide charges, for the death of a Portland teen on a class hiking trip last August.  That is, if the Lake County district attorney goes along with the recommendation of the chief investigator in the case.  For complete story, click here.
"OP-ED ON "BRAT CAMP" By S.b.   ABC’s recent reality show “Brat Camp” triggered a massive eruption in the world of the Teen Help Industry. The show introduced the idea of tough love wilderness boot camps to viewers all over America. ABC’s “Brat Camp” was not at all reality. Similar to a real wilderness program indeed but extremely sugarcoated. In this is mean the “troubled teens” were tricked by their parents by being told they were going on vacation or to camp, a common method parents utilize to transport their teens to these camps. They were picked up at the airport by a wilderness camp counselor who then broke the news that their next 30 days would be spent in the wilderness with no contact with the outside world.    The teen help industry is made up of many behavior modification programs such as therapeutic boarding schools, boot camps, and like ABC‘s “Brat Camp”, wilderness programs. These programs have one goal in mind: to reform teens way of thinking and acting. These programs or “wilderness therapy schools” are hard to oversee. The teenagers are led far out into the mountains or desert for weeks or months at a time. The regimen can be grueling, both physically and emotionally. Often the children are refused direct contact with parents or anyone from the outside.  Thousands of children are currently in these privately owned "behavior modification" programs. Unfortunately, the "treatment" offered at some of these programs could be considered child abuse. Kids end up in behavior modification programs, boot camps, wilderness camps, and drug rehabs for all kinds of reasons. Some really do have a drug problem. Many are uncooperative with their parents. Some have a history of violence. Others are mentally challenged or have learning disabilities. Some have no problems at all other than simply being a teenager. For the kids who are placed in a loving, nurturing facility, these programs can be the beginning of a very bright future. or the kids who end up in a harsh, abusive program, it can be the beginning of a life-long battle with nightmares, depression, rage, and thoughts of suicide.  All across the United States there are reports of abusive practices in specialty schools and programs, detention centers and youth jails. Problem is they are overlooked. Government officials need to take sometime out of their busy schedules and ask themselves some questions. How common are these incidents? Do they occur in violation of state rules and regulations or happen as a result of lax oversight by state agencies and local law enforcement? What needs to be done at the federal level to enforce the human rights and civil liberties of these vulnerable children in EVERY state?   The most disturbing factor of this to me is ABC’s “Brat Camp” was a false representation of what really goes on in the programs. Therefore, many parents dealing with troubled teenagers are going to look at wilderness therapy as a excellent plan for helping their child. On “Brat Camp” the kids ate proper meals, were allowed snacks, and slept in a cabin. Each program is different, but when my brother went to SUWS (a wilderness program in Idaho), he was not allowed communication with anyone at the camp for a week, was not allowed snacks, and slept on the dirt ground. A blanket had to be earned. There are over a thousand wilderness programs in America. Many are unlicensed and highly unregulated. Not to mention there have been over 200 deaths of children in the past 20 years due to neglect, physical restraints, dehydration, and other forms of mistreatment. TeenAdvocatedUSA.com is a website that has a memorial called “Holy thy Children”. It is dedicated all the children and children’s families whom have died in behavior modification programs. The memorial shows the name, age, and cause of death as well as eulogy’s from the parents, and current articles to keep people up to date with this grueling industry. The most recent addition to the site’s memorial was the death of 13 year old Travis Parker. Travis died on April 21, 2005 at Appalachian Wilderness program from a violent  physical restraint given by a counselor.  “Brat Camp” has received an immense load of negative feedback. I rest assured that there wont be a sequel, but all the parents whom were introduced to the idea of wilderness programs through it makes me naseous. It is obvious ABC did not do their homework on other programs out there because now desperate parents are put into a false mindset that all wilderness programs is a positive solution to get their teen into an emotional state of well being. Their naivate will have devastating consequences on many teens across America, and hopefully one day the consequences will be not be on the children but on this evil industry of child abusers. If you would like to submit a statement about SageWalk, click here for information.
 

 

 Last Updated: January 20th, 2016

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