How many other young men will be in the program with my son?

Northwoods Ranch & Retreat strives to maintain low student to staff ratio, aiming between 8 & 9 for men. Please note that at times of transition while current students are moving to their next venture and new students coming to the program, this number may vary.  As part of our unique program we understand the more personalized attention each student receives the greater opportunity for success.

What sort of staffing is provided?

Our experienced counselors and staff work hand in hand with students as we discuss, experience, and develop increased knowledge and skill in our 60+ counseling and life skill topics. We pride ourselves in our staffing. A Masters level provider offers individual meetings along with weekly classes from our established curriculum and each program is staffed 24 hours a day 7 days a week with supportive, educated, and experienced individuals. We maintain our structure optimizing time for adequate individual and group attention along with ample opportunity to discuss in the moment stressors, emotions, and other issues that arise. 


"Problems don't occur at 3pm on a Tuesday during an appointment, they happen in the moment.  Our unique program allows us to process issues as they arise no matter the time or place."

-Devin Colavecchio Counslelor/Owner/Administrator

As a parent/sponsor how will I know how my son is progressing at Northwoods Ranch & Retreat?

Students are encouraged to write letters to their parents/sponsors weekly to explain their progress. The staff of Northwoods Ranch & Retreat will also have scheduled bi-weekly phone meetings with parents/sponsors to discuss current treatment and to keep the parents/sponsors updated on the student’s progress.

Note: In some cases due to our outings and activities, calls may be delayed or rescheduled. However, we do our best to maintain weekly contact with families.

What are the credentials of the staff at the facility?

It is important to alway ask about the staff that will be directly involved with your son, daughter or family member.  At Northwoods Ranch and Retreat you will find that our staff hold multiple degrees specific to mental health, substance abuse, and counseling.  Please see below, along with checking out our "Meet the Staff" section for further details.


Rory McLaughlin CEO/Counselor

  •      Masters of Social Work
  •      Bachelors of Science Psychology and Criminal Justice

F. Devin Colavecchio CFO/COO Counselor

  •      Master of Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  •      Bachelors of Science Psychology and Criminal Justice
  •      Associates of Science Law Enforcement
  •      Master of Business Administration
  •      Partial Masters of School Counseling (All but Internship)

How much does the program cost?

Residential Ranch & Retreat: $7,500.00 with a minimum 90 day stay, along with a Personal expense fund of $500. Any personal expense money left over will be returned to parents upon student graduation.

Transitional Programming:  This cost varies by individual and their needs. It begins at $6,500 - $1,500, this is determined by level of need and services offered.

Family Outings: These trips are typically a Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. The cost varies depending on the trip; if trip is longer in length or entails more costly events (skiing, rafting, etc.). Average costs vary between $950 - $750 per individual for a 3-day, 2-night trip.

Africa Experience: The cost for this 16-day program is a minimum of $6-7,000 above tuition, due to varying cost of flights this amount may change; this includes airfare, travel insurance, a guided tour and the necessities of the trip with the exception of required immunizations and passport costs.

What is the minimum stay?

The minimum commitment to the program is 90 days which is our preliminary evaluation period. During this time we assess each student, observe attitudes and behaviors and begin working on the goals they developed during their intake. Unlike other facilities we know there is not a magic number in terms of student development and progress. Some students may only require 90 days, others more. Be wary of facilities that require longer or more arbitrary time frames for student’s successful completion; since every student is different, so are their therapeutic needs.

Where do the students live?

Students live on our 15 acre ranch, nestled in the picturesque wilderness that surrounds the quaint historical Maine town of Newport. The ranch is home to a modernly remodeled farmhouse, originally built in 1860, surrounded by orchards, rolling hills, and scenic pastures. The family structured living conditions are very comfortable and inviting. The property offers an optimum learning experience where students participate in group counseling along with 1:1 walks.


Once client has moved to the Transitional program, he will live in an apartment provided by Northwoods Ranch & Retreat.

How do the students get around? Can they have a car?

Outings into the community such as volunteer work, shopping, sporting excursions, appointments etc. are all supervised and the students are driven by our staff. Students are not permitted to have personal vehicles during the 90 day preliminary evaluation period. After the initial 90 days, depending on circumstances, some exceptional students may be permitted to have a personal vehicle based on parental consent and program criteria.

Can students get a job during their 90 day preliminary evaluation period?

Students may not obtain a job during the residential stay as it will reduce our contact with them and diminish our ability to conduct a proper evaluation during that time. After the residential period if a student is determined eligible for the transitional phase, he or she will start their job search as they enter this stage.

Can students go to school during the Residential programming?

Students are not typically permitted to attend school during the residential period. Some exceptions may apply in special situations.

If a student has completed a previous program can they skip the 90 day preliminary evaluation period?

No. Regardless of what program the student has come to us from, the 90 day preliminary evaluation period is mandatory. Potential for continued enrollment after 90 days will be discussed during the assessment meeting which will take place at or around 90 days of attendance. We will not recommend further enrollment beyond the initial 90 days if our assessment concludes that continued enrollment will not be beneficial to the student.

Can students have an iPod, iPad, laptop, or cell phone?

Personal internet accessible devices are not permitted at Northwoods Ranch & Retreat (iPods, iPads, PSP, etc.) Phones are not permitted at Northwoods Ranch & Retreat during the 90 day preliminary evaluation period. However students are encouraged to, on a weekly basis, write their parents/sponsors to update them on their progress. Once students enter the Transitional Program, and live in an apartment, they may have a cell phone, and all electronics.

The 90 day preliminary evaluation period is a crucial time for us to understand the inner processes, socialization, needs, and development of our students. It is our experience that this is complicated by outside influences and distractions. In order for us to achieve the most comprehensive and thorough assessment possible during this time, complete attention to our curriculum is required.

What happens if a student gets into trouble?

We operate on a “consequence continuum” strategy. The first time a student breaks a rule the issue is addressed and appropriate measures are taken to ensure it does not happen again. This includes problem solving with the student to help him or her fully understand the ramifications of his or her actions and how to better avoid a repeat problem in the future. If a student continues a harmful/destructive behavior to the extent that it places the program, staff, or other students in danger then Northwoods Ranch & Retreat reserves the right to withdraw enrollment from said student.

Do students get to go home for visits?

If students continue enrollment into our Transitional Program, they may be permitted to return home for visits after discussion with parents/sponsors. This typically depends on job search, work schedule, and healthy family dynamic.

Can parents/sponsors visit?

During the residential programming period, visits are not permitted, however, after 75 days in residential program, parents/sponsors are invited and encouraged to attend the Family Outings.

Do you offer scholarships or a sliding scale fee for tuition?

At Northwoods Ranch & Retreat our focus is helping young adult men find direction and success in themselves and life. Due to this desire we offer a sliding fee when able. This can be discussed in more detail with one of our administrators/counselors during your initial discussion and interview.


Can students continue to take their medications while at Northwoods Ranch & Retreat?

Yes. However, we do ask to be provided with evidence that students are stabilized on any new medications they are currently taking.

Is your program year round?

Yes, the benefit of being in Maine, the state dubbed “Vacationland,” is that we have year round opportunities for academics, vocational training, adventure, and daily ranch responsibilities; there is always something to do in addition to our standard curriculum at Northwoods Ranch & Retreat.

Who will my child’s peers be?

Students come from all walks of life, and although each student's experiences are unique, we have come to learn that most students do exhibit certain commonalities. Poor communication skills, poor decision making, low self-esteem, problems with authority, and lack of motivation are some of those commonalities.

Can the student handle the physical component?

Prior to attending our program, students should consider visiting their primary care physician for a physical. This is not a requirement for attendance, however it is important to understand some activities and tasks can be physically demanding.

What types of students is your program prepared to serve?

We serve a wide variety of students with various backgrounds and diagnoses, as well as students who are simply looking for a challenge and learning opportunity to better themselves prior to a major life adjustment such as attending college. If you have a specific concern or question about our capabilities or accommodations please contact our admissions director.

Are there any disorders or behaviors that will disqualify a student from enrollment?

Yes, due to the unique nature of our program there are disorders and behaviors that are not conducive to the social therapeutic environment provided by Northwoods Ranch & Retreat. We will not accept students who exhibit behavior that has the potential to diminish that environment for other students. Our Pre-Screen Assessment is extensive, and is designed to be selective for students who will benefit from our program. If Northwoods Ranch & Retreat is not a fit for your son/family member, we will be happy to recommend a program that may be more appropriately suited for his or her needs.