Since 1981, Freedom Academy has offered troubled teens a second chance in life through its affordable residential program. We work with boys and girls who have been in trouble at home, school or in their community. Boys and girls who were struggling and defiant are turned around and given academic, spiritual and personal instruction and mentoring to help them become confident, kind and trustworthy young adults.
Freedom Academy is a place of non-stop activity from sunup to sundown.
Young people in our care participate in a myriad of activities that go on at Freedom Academy. Along the way, they are taught responsibility through chores and service projects; they learn teamwork through sports and work; and they gain character through the application of Biblical principles in everything they do.
Through it all, they will enjoy themselves and get to be kids – singing, playing sports, going to summer camp, etc – without the burdens of their past troubles.
Our schedule makes time each day for spiritual growth (personal devotions, chapel), academic study and chores. Each day also includes free time and recreational time for students to enjoy themselves and have a break.
Weekday, students wake up at 6:00 AM, prepare for the day, go to breakfast then chapel. After chapel, students attend school until around 3 with a break for lunch. After school, they attend to chores until dinner. After dinner, there will be time for sports/recreation and, depending on the day, either a personal development class or a group activity of some sort.
Students attend school for roughly six hours each day. They have at least an hour of recreation time in the evenings. There are two or three group times a week where personal development/character issues are discussed, aside from chapel times.
Students are to be in bed from 10pm to 6am.
Weekends are a little different – 8am wake-up on Saturday, we often seek out some form of service on Saturdays and have activities or movies at night. On Sunday, we attend church in the morning and sometimes church in the evening. The rest of the day is usually given to rest and recreation.
Chores are definitely a part of daily responsibility. Young people assist in lawn care, kitchen duties, upkeep of the buildings and care of the horses. Students do not each do their own laundry, but one or two assigned monitors see to laundry duty.
Students are required to keep their rooms clean and make their beds each morning. Their rooms are inspected at breakfast time each morning.
Students are required to attend all church and chapel services. Each weekday morning, there is a brief chapel service. There are also church services at the church sponsored by our ministry in the village of Watkins Glen. The students ride to services there Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings.
Students are required to complete devotions each morning. There are also regular times of Bible study, most of which are done as a group and mandatory. All of our group sessions focus on character development, from a Biblical perspective.
During free time, students typically have the option of going to the recreation room (to play games or get a snack), watching TV in the dormitory (evenings only), or playing sports on the quad or basketball court.
Food is served in the cafeteria at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Outside this, students regularly receive snacks in coordination with activities.
One of the highlights of the year is summer camp. It is when our students pack up and head to a campground in Pennsylvania. For a week, everyone takes a break from the routine and enjoys the outdoors – camping, swimming, boating.
It is also a unique time of spiritual focus and renewal, as a special speaker and some school alumni join the students to share their heart and encourage them in their faith.
The highlight of every camp week is the last day, when students are invited to make a genuine, life long commitment to Jesus Christ, marked by the choice to be baptized.