Testimonials from the great students and families we have worked with here at Northwoods

We recently received this email from a parent and wanted to share with you all ☺️

Posted by Northwoods Ranch & Retreat on Sunday, January 10, 2021

“We think Northwoods Ranch and Retreat is a fantastic program. Devin and Melissa, who run Northwoods, are amazing mentors, leaders and people. We highly recommend the program. Our son’s life improved immensely with all of the life skills he learned at Northwoods. Our son loved all the amazing outdoor experiences such as hiking or canoeing for a week along the Alagash river. He was fortunate enough to go on one of Northwoods Africa trips which was another transformative experience. He loved the experience of working on their farm with all the animals. When Devin and Melissa take a student into their program, they are fully committed to helping that individual heal and work through all the necessary stages of personal growth. Our son ended up returning to Northwoods to work first as an intern and now as a full time residential counselor. We are forever grateful for everything Northwoods has done to help our son become the amazing young man and responsible adult that he is today. Thank you Northwoods!!!”

~Hilary Armstrong


“Northwoods Ranch & Retreat has had a very positive influence on my life. I was dealing with severe bipolar disorder when they took me in. It was a very back-to-basics program. It taught me that once my basic needs were met, it really didn’t take a lot more to make me happy. My bipolar disorder was eventually straightened out and I got back to feeling normal. Northwoods was there for me in my darkest hour and never gave up on me. In general, Northwoods taught me how to be more content with myself and led me to become a better person.”



“Northwoods for me, was a getaway from a bad place and an entrance to a good place. I was able to make meaningful connections, learn positive skills to interact with people and it was a place where I was accepted for me.”



“Dear Northwoods staff,
We just wanted to say thank you all very much for everything. It’s wonderful to have our old son back. We know there’s going to be ups & downs but we’re excited to see our son put his plan into action.

He has:

  • Filled out applications
  • Working with us on his budget
  • Addressed his plan with friends and staying away from the wrong friends

He’s been very open with our family too and excited to share his goals. We can’t say thank you enough for everything. Especially to Rory & Devin. You will always be a part of us, Northwoods is an amazing experience and it’s everything we hoped for. Thank you.”

~The Sullivans


“Thank you for an eye-opening experience.
Thank you for your kindness and patience.
What you do truly makes a difference and one may only gain an accurate appreciation through in-person observation. It is difficult to quantify and qualify all of the meaningful aspects of our time together, let alone the potential we see in our son’s future. Yours is a noble pursuit. You are changing the world one person at a time in a manner that is unconventional but steeped in the tradition to which you subscribe.
Now it is up to our son and us to build on the reset that you have made possible. You are remarkable men and I feel compelled to tell you that we are forever in your debt.”


“Northwoods does a very good job of providing a friendly, yet productive environment in which personal attention is afforded to each student to work on himself. For me, Northwoods was exactly what I needed when I needed it, as it provided a relaxing environment in which I could work on myself and develop strategies to deal with my issues without the pressures of the outside world. What makes Northwoods unique is that there is always a Masters level clinician available to talk 24/7 for if and when a student needs advice or counseling. The program also did an extremely good job of providing lots of activities and exciting Wilderness trips to go on so that we were not stuck at the house all of the time. All of the staff at Northwoods have tried and true methods of helping students cope with whatever problems they have and proven to help students live more stable and happier lives in the long-term future. I am incredibly grateful for the support and help I received while at Northwoods Ranch and Retreat.”

~Henry M


“We are so grateful to all of you for working your special magic and helping our son develop his strengths and confidence during his time at Northwoods.  Your unique blend of outdoor activities, teamwork, farm work, house chores, responsibility to self and others, as well as group and private therapy sessions, have made a huge difference in how he sees himself and his potential.

Your programmatic approach is rare because of the low client to staff ratio that allows for a deep familiarity and understanding to develop between the staff and the participants. The small size also makes it less intimidating for young men who may already be feeling a bit out of sorts with the world. There are too few programs out there for young adults who don’t fit easily into any traditional mold and can so easily make impulsive decisions that put them on a self-destructive path.  Additionally, as his parents, while he knew he was loved, our relationship didn’t allow him to listen to, and to process internally, the candid, constructive and therapeutic conversations your program specializes in.  Furthermore, helping him set goals and then successfully achieve them has given him confidence in his own abilities. Finally, the “icing on the cake” was your willingness to customize a transition program for him to continue his growth in independence and maturity under your stewardship. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you deeply. We will be your fans forever!”

~C & R, Maryland

Want to leave a Testimonial?

We'd love to get your feedback!