Challenger Foundation was the first wilderness therapy program which integrated boot camps methods to the original wilderness therapy concept. This new mixture became the basis for wilderness therapy as it is used today.
The program was founded by Steve Cartisano.
The program lasted 63 days. A website is dedicated to these 63 days <Ref>63 days, The story of how Alli saw her time while being detained at the program.</Ref>
They used a level system <ref>Death Trip, Vibe Magazine, March 1995</ref>.
- The first level was called Impact. Food were restricted in that level but the state regulations allowed it back then.
- The second level was called Survival
- The last part of the program included a so-called "run-in" session where the teenager run a couple of miles to meet the parents out in the wilderness.
In the news
Kristin Chase died during a hike. The settlement and the investigations following this death made the program close <Ref>The rise and fall of Steve Cartisano, by Christopher Smith, High Country News, June 10 1996</Ref>
Mr. Cartisano was charged with negligent homicide as result of Miss. Chases death <ref>Judge Finds Cartisano Jury Not Tainted', by Joseph Baumann and Steve Fidel, The Deseret News - May 27, 1992</ref>. The case ended with a mistrial <ref>MISTRIAL FRUSTRATES, ANGERS FATHER OF TEEN WHO DIED WHILE IN CHALLENGER'S CARE, By Mike Carter, Deseret News, September 30, 1991</ref>
The wilderness therapy program was sued by other customers after the death in the program <ref>LAST CARTISANO SUIT SETTLED OUT OF COURT, Deseret News, December 22, 1994</ref>
- Info: Wilderness Tragedy, by Lon Woodbury, strugglingteens.com - industry marketing firm
- Info: Brat Camp, a tread on Sociopranos where a survivor makes a statement about his experience
- Survivor group: Group for survivors of wilderness program, who are alive to tell their story, Myspace
- Survivor group: Wilderness Program Graduates, Facebook
- Survivor group: I Survived Wilderness, Facebook
- Survivor group: Challenger Foundation, Facebook
- Forum: Challenger, a thread on Fornits webforum
- Forum: 63days.com Challenger Foundation, a thread on Fornits webforum
- Forum: Distant-Drums AKA Skyline Journey, a thread on Fornits webforum mentioning the program
- Forum: OK, here's your chance.....Fark, a thread on Fornits webforum mentioning the program