a tradition of meeting boys’ needs

The Journey to “The Hill”

Boys arriving here will go through three distinct phases as they become accustomed to life at Boys Home, and meet the necessary benchmarks for progress.

Welcoming and Evaluation

For many boys, life here is much different from what they are accustomed to.  So each one spends 30 to 60 days in evaluation, giving us a chance to see how they respond to our program.  Some boys may do better in a mental health setting or in a more secure, structured environment than we offer.  But this period helps us identify the unique set of young men who respond to positive reinforcement and have a desire to change.

We uncover how each boy learns, where he stands educationally, and how he processes information.  All of this is compiled into an evaluation of what each boy needs, and is passed along as he progresses through the Boys Home experience.

It’s an important period of adjustment, because many of these young men are initially brittle, or even hostile.  But this experience serves as their introduction to communal living and caring adult supervision.  Boys who’ve had more than their share of turmoil quickly see that life and relationships can offer much more.

Independent Living

When Evaluation has been completed successfully, boys move on to live in family-style cottages … it’s what they call “moving to the Hill.”  There, they live under the watchful care of trained and committed house parents.  One former houseparent said of this experience, “That’s where the work is done.  In the cottages, we get to know the kids and see the changes happening … it’s very rewarding.”  The young men begin to grow and become self-sufficient, gathering the life skills they’ll need in the future to be successful adults.

Experiential Living

This is the final step young men take toward independence, and focuses on preparing them to transition into adulthood in the outside world.  They’re encouraged to take part in a wide range of campus and community activities, including recreation, sports, our scout troop and church programs.


Many young men arrive here a grade level or more behind their peers, so education has always been a cornerstone of life at Boys Home.  With our low teacher-to-student ratios, and tutorial sessions as needed, residents quickly learn the value of applying themselves, and we regularly see remarkable gains.

Residents who are behind attend the Greer Education Center, getting focused attention.  Once they’ve caught up, they begin to attend one of the Alleghany County Public Schools.  But the whole experience is designed to show them a new way to look at learning, and we often see a remarkable impact on a boy’s growth, development and feelings of worth as the benefits of education become part of their lives.

Training for Life

As boys improve academically, they also benefit from life skills training, learn social skills and receive character education as part of everyday offerings that are integrated into all campus activities.

Group Life

Boys Home has developed a five-group citizenship program, and boys advance based on their overall behavior, attitude, leadership and educational progress. In order for residents to be promoted to a higher group and receive additional privileges, they must meet requirements and be recommended.

To support the boys in this growth, daily activities are scheduled for each cottage. Boys attend chapel, and participate in our campus work program. By giving young men structure, education and spirituality, and by demonstrating a commitment to their needs, we give them a real chance to succeed in the world.

Vocational Training

Some of our young men eventually go off to college.  But we know that not everyone wants or needs that.  At Boys Home, we believe that a man is a success when he puts in a hard day’s work, comes home tired every night and loves and supports his family.  So we offer our young men skills as well as education.  Every boy here contributes energy to our successful Christmas Tree Farm.  Our on-campus vocational program provides work experience and the opportunity to develop good work habits with regularly-scheduled vocational classes for all students.  And boys in grades 9 through 12 who attend public school can also receive training at Jackson River Technical Center in a range of vocational skills.

Socialization and Recreation

Daily recreation not only helps build healthy young men, but also gives them a chance to learn teamwork, respect for themselves, and respect for others.  Boys Home offers a full range of opportunities: Team sports, including basketball, flag football, baseball and more; individual sports like swimming, weightlifting and racquetball; outdoor activities, including ice skating, sledding, fishing, and camping.  And field trips are planned to local ski areas, a bowling alley, state parks, and college campuses.

We have social events on holidays on the campus.  Residents who earn the privilege may visit town on weekend evenings. And Boys Home also has a scout troop, hunter safety program, chess club, and the Boys Home Singers, and every boy is encouraged to participate in these school and community activities.

Service for Individual Needs

We also offer computer classes to address remedial and educational needs, plus tutoring sessions for remedial reading, study skills, and academic improvement.  Supervised nightly study hall is required, and computers are available to develop computer literacy and assist in educational projects. Psychological help is available when needed through a certified counselor.

Boys Home Certification and Approval by:

The Commonwealth of Virginia, Department of Social Services

HIPAA Statement

Boys Home complies with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) regulations. Each guardian will receive documentation to review and sign at admission.

Civil Rights

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, religious creed, disability, age, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at:, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: (1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; (2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or (3) email:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.