Storm Ridge Ranch (1986-present) Monroe/Marysvale, UT

Residential Treatment Center/Therapeutic Boarding School

History and Background Information

Storm Ridge Ranch (also referred to as Storm Ridge School and SRS Education) is a behavior-modification program that opened in 1986. It is marketed as a Residential Treatment Center for troubled teenagers between the ages of 12 and 18. The program states that it enrolls teenagers with a history of any of the following: Dual Diagnosis – Co-occuring Issues, Anxiety, ADD, ADHD, ODD, Substance Abuse, Eating Disorders, Running Away, Unhealthy Sexual Conduct, Anger Management Issues, Poor Peer Relationships – Negative Peer Group, Defiance and Rebellion, Truancy/Poor School Performance, Adoption Issues, and Divorce Issues. The average length of stay is reported to be around 12 months, but may be substantially longer if the teenager is deemed resistant. The program’s tuition is reported to be roughly $3500 per month.

The program operates two campuses, one for the male residents and one for the females. The Girls’ campus, called Storm Ridge Ranch North, has a maximum enrollment of 18 girls and is located at 2898 N Storm Ridge Lane, Monroe, UT 84754. The other campus, called Storm Ridge School South, is located about 20 miles south on 3 Springs Ranch Road in Marysvale, UT 84750, and houses the Boys’ program. Storm Ridge Ranch South has a maximum enrollment of 40 boys.

Storm Ridge Ranch is accredited by the Northwest Association of Accredited Schools (NAAS), but it is important to note that neither the United States Department of Education nor the Council for Higher Education Accreditation recognizes the Northwest Association of Accredited Schools as an accrediting agency for institutions of higher education. In fact, NAAS is most well-known for in the public for the State of New York not accepting the diplomas given by the Academy at Ivy Ridge, which was a confirmedly abusive WWASP program which was also accredited by NAAS. NAAS has “accredited” many notoriously abusive behavior-modification programs, including many WWASP programs.

Founders and Notable Staff

MaryAnn Larsen is an owner and Director of the Storm Ridge Ranch North facility.

Darren Swalberg is an owner and Director of the Storm Ridge Ranch South facilities. He is married to Trina Swalberg.

Richard Larsen works as the as the Farm Ranch Manger for Storm Ridge Ranch. He is married to MaryAnn Larsen.

Trina Swalberg worked as the Academic Director of Storm Ridge Ranch. She is married to Darren Swalberg.

Chris Woods works as the Assistant to the Ranch Manager and a Residential Counselor at Storm Ridge Ranch.

Brian Wood works as the Assistant Director of Storm Ridge Ranch.

JoAnne Harris worked as a Therapist at Storm Ridge Ranch. She passed away suddenly on October 26th, 2019. Bizarrely, as of January 2021, JoAnne is still listed as working as a Therapist at Storm Ridge on their website.

Chris Farrer works as a Therapist at Storm Ridge Ranch.

Program Structure

Like other behavior-modification programs, Storm Ridge Ranch uses a level-system consisting of 3 levels. The levels are reported to be:

  • Level 1: no additional information
  • Level 2: no additional information
  • Level 3: no additional information

Daily Schedule

The weekday schedule at Storm Ridge Ranch is reported to be:

  • 7:00 – 8:00: Wake up and School Preparation
  • 8:00 – 8:30: Breakfast – Dishes
  • 8:30 – 3:00: School
  • 3:00 – 3:30: Chores
  • 3:30 – 6:00: Laundry, Community Service, Prepare Dinner, Sports Activities
  • 6:00 – 7:00: Dinner – Dishes
  • 7:00 – 7:30: Exercise and journal writing
  • 7:30 – 9:30: Therapy and/or Free Time
  • 9:30 – 10:00: Clean Up
  • 10:00: Prepare For Bed
  • 10:15: Lights Out

Rules and Punishments

Each student is given a copy of the “Resident Play Book” upon admission. This is the Storm Ridge Ranch student rule book. Each student is required to read the rules and be familiar with them. Students are responsible for knowing the rules and abiding by them. The student is asked to sign a statement that they have receive and read the rules and that they understand them. Student progress is tracked through a system of points. A students points determine their eligibility for activities and privileges. Students can earn points by complying with the expectations of the program. If a student breaks a rule, they lose a certain number of points depending on the severity of the infraction.

An archived version of Storm Ridge Ranch’s website gives an overview of many of the programs rules and the corresponding “penalty points” associated with breaking these rules. They are as follows:

Infraction Penalty Points
Cheating or helping to cheat in school 600
Damaging property cost of repair + 250
Disrespectful abusive behavior to other residents 100
Disrespectful abusive behavior to staff or Therapists 100
Disrespectful abusive behavior to visitor or public 200
Disrupting class (each offense) 25
Alcohol or drug use loss of Friday night out and visits + 500
Flashing or writing gang signs 25
Graffiti and tagging cost of repair + 25
Horseplay 25
In off-limits areas 50
Inappropriate use of school materials 100
Late to class 25
Leaving school without permission 100
Lying 50
Out of seat without permission 25
Physical fighting new charges + 500
Running or leaving property Sheriff/case mgr contacted + 500
Sharpening pencil at the wrong time 10
Sleeping in class 25
Theft new charges based on severity + 500
Swearing / Profanity 3 “f” words = loss of Friday night out + 50
Using computers without permission 50
Verbal fighting 50
Writing on blackboard without permission 25
Abuse to animals 500
Inappropriate sexual comments 50
Damaging staff vehicles charges, cost of repair + 500
Eating or drinking during class 25
Food upstairs or on couches 25
Late for Friday check in early check in next week + 100
Upstairs without permission 250
Up after hours 50
Wearing other clothing without staff permission 20
Displaying underwear or wearing excessively large clothing 20
Shoes on in the house 10
Inappropriate rapping or free styling 10
Sitting on couches at unapproved times 10
TV or video games at unapproved times 25
Leaving house without staff permission 25
Reading or questioning head count sheet 10
Refusing to shower 50
Non compliance – Refusing to follow staff directions 100
Drug talk 50
Chair or desk legs not on floor 10
Not washing own dishes 25
TV or video games on during chore times 150
Flipping towels 1000
Indecent acts – flashing etc. 1000
Listening to staff conversation 50
In wrong room 1000
Not working on class assignment 25
Inappropriate behavior in vehicles or in public 100
Partial participation 10
Argumentative behavior 25
Unsportsmanlike conduct 50
Changing computer settings without permission 250
Changing point sheet / writing on point sheet 250
Incomplete clean-up 25

Abuse Allegations

Storm Ridge Ranch has been reported by many survivors to be an abusive program. Allegations of abuse and neglect that have been reported by survivors include extreme verbal, mental, and physical abuse, and forced manual labor. Many survivors report that they suffer from PTSD resulting from their experience at Storm Ridge Ranch.

Survivor/Parent Testimonials

8/9/2019: (PARENT) “The place is a joke. Sorry I left my son there. They never answer the phones. Staff are all on min. Wages and not qualified. If you are paying $3500 a month you would expect physiological reports, we got none. Also all calls are monitored so kids can’t really say anything controversial. If you are paying, they have no incentive to graduate anyone. Don’t send your kids there” – Anonymous (Niche)

4/29/2019: (SURVIVOR) “Storm Ridge Ranch was a traumatic experience overall, and the education was laughable. There is one teacher in a classroom of 20-30 students of varying grades and levels of education, so students are expected to learn completely on their own. All of the classes are online, and if a student asks for help they are usually not given any, yet students are shamed and punished for falling behind.” – Anonymous (Niche)

1/4/2019: (PARENT) “My son just opened up for the first time in 3 yrs 5 days ago. He Was at Storm Ridge Ranch for six months from May 5, 2016 to November 2018 right before Thanksgiving. We were lied to by Darren Swalberg and other staff members. I went to visit my son that November, he was acting extremely paranoid and afraid. His behavior was not normal and he was worse off than when we first sent him there. My son suffers from PSTD from attending Storm Ridge Ranch. He was never abused physically, but he suffered from verbal abuse and mental abuse and they made him and other kids work beyond what anyone should do. He witness little boys being beaten until bloody and one kid was forced to clean up his own blood. Storm Ridge Ranch hires people who were in prison for assault and battery, drugs, armed robbery, etc… This place was recommended by the state of Utah and that was my reason for choosing it. Please do not send your kids to Storm Ridge Ranch. I sent my son there for horse therapy and ended up sending him to HELL…. Please do not be another parent that makes this horrific undoable mistake. Please google Storm Ridge Ranch lawsuits to hear from others. Here is a link that will help.” – Natalie (Yelp)

2/18/2018: (SURVIVOR) “Storm Ridge Ranch is a fraud. It is a warehouse for children. The Larson’s are liars who will do anything for a dollar. They make desperate parents take out loans to send their children to this facility. Meanwhile the children become slaves; yes a working ranch, read in between the lines. If your child wants to leave on time they will have to work for freedom. Meanwhile Rick’s cattle makes him money. It isn’t even slave labor, its worse. The parents pay to have their children become slaves. Then Maryann rubs it in the children faces, to make them have low self esteem, how their parents suffered finically to send them there. The education is horrible, they give you a book and say read it. No one teaches you. Your child, if not self motivated, will not learn a thing. Rick has broken children’s arms for little reason. He is abusive and strict, disobey and your child could have a broken nose or arm. They call it restraining a child. This is just code for torture until they comply. They are an evil family. The whole family works their. Most male staff are married to one of Rick’s daughters, only one is actually nice. The lowlife husbands become horrible role models for your children. The other owner Darin, his wife is the teacher. You might think this is good, a family owned residential facility. Think again, they will cover for each other. It is like a Larson cult, but the men kept their last names because they married his daughters. Do not send your child here. I personally was there twice. Both facilities when it was only male. It will only make your child worse. Trust me. Their are better options, please I beg you do not send your child to Storm Ridge Ranch. They monitor all communication between your child and you, this is because they do not want your child to tell you the truth. They force the children to send home “happy” letters. All phone conversations monitored so your child cant tell you what is really happening. I have personally heard Richard Larson threaten children “If you don’t do what I say I will get another 3 months out of your parents, you know I can!!!” he manipulates parents with Maryann. If your child says something true, how they are abusive or mention slave labor, they will tell the parents their child is a manipulator. I was personally there over 10 years ago. I imagine it has only become worse. The man they call “Woods” is no better. I had to add that. He is a know it all, arrogant human being who only cares about his job. The staff that isn’t related hates it there, as they are paid minimum wage because they are un educated. Do not send your child here, this place is a scam. I came out worse then I went in. I was personally never abused, I believe because I was six feet tall and athletic when I was young. They were scared of me. The children who weren’t as big as I was, I was a big 16 year old, were the ones abused. They justify their abuse so they could sleep at night but if your child is not a big kid they will be “restrained”, aka abused. This place left me psychologically harmed, as I only left worse. I left worse because if you think your child is out of control, their is a child that is worse, your child will become friends with them, your child will gain knowledge on how to be a better criminal. Please I beg you, I know from experience, 9 months then 3 months. Please excuse my spelling I went to high school at Storm Ridge Ranch. I left worse and became a nightmare in my late teens and early 20s because of Storm Ridge Ranch. Save your child.” – James

2018: (SURVIVOR) “This place is hell on Earth they will break your kids arm the food sucks and they try to convince you to leave your kid there so they get money Daren also makes his own reviews Rick and charleen are the only kind pepole there this place sucks if you love your kid don’t send them Daren or keven I know your reading this don’t delete the truth” – Gage (Google Reviews)

2016: (SURVIVOR) “I see reviews on here and they are mixed as people do have mixed opinions on everything in life, but please read this. My parents hired transporters to come to my house and wake me up at 3am and tell me “Come with us and if you make a move, you’ll be picking your teeth up off the ground.” At that point, I knew something was off about this whole thing. I arrived at Storm Ridge Ranch on October 14, 2012 until I left (early) on July 16, 2013. 9 months and 2 days is what the total came to. The reason for my placement there was disobedience to my parents, minor theft, and truancy, all valid reasons to seek help to change my life around. In that 9 months I was there, I scrubbed the bathroom floor on my hands and knees with a rag for an hour every day to earn 20 points. The program is based on a level system where you have to stay for a certain amount of time and earn enough points to level up (3 months, 9,000 points.) and once you get to the highest level, you get discharged. Every week you earn around 400 points and if you do the math, you won’t level up on time. So the only way to level up on time is by doing extra work which entails things like scrubbing the floor, pulling weeds with your hands in 100 degree heat because you are in the desert. The family running it is corrupt. They are liars. They are manipulators. They will take as much money as they possibly can from you and then more. My parents paid $35,000 that they didn’t have. There was kid there whose parents were paying close to $70,000 a year! Now that money should be enough for air conditioning in the summer, heat in the winter, and hot water right? Guess again. You take your showers in freezing cold water.In the Winter you need to wear layers of clothing and wrap yourself in tons of blankets just to get a wink of sleep. The school is a joke. I use the term school lightly. Literally they give you a packet of work and say do it. There is no teaching. There is no help. And if you for some reason don’t know how to do the work that is way to underadvanced for even the least of brightest of kids, there is no help and you will fail. The food is absolutely terrible. Once again, $35,000-$70,000 per kid should be enough for good food right? Nope. The staff are all undereducated jerks who hate being there almsot as much as we do. So how do they take out their frustrations? Most will take the smallest kid in the room and “restrain” him which entails an extremely painful set of twists and cranks in your body by about 7 grown men. They’ll drive their knee into your throat so you cant breathe, and will laugh later on and joke about how bad they were hurting the kid. I remebr there was a kid who got his arm snapped by staff and he didn’t get any medical attention for months. The staff moniter everything, so if you want to tell your parents over the phone about the mistreatment, the phone call will be shut off. If you write a letter to tell them, expect to see it in the shredder. This place is a fraud. PLEASE DO NOT SEND YOUR CHILD HERE!!!” – Aaron (Google Reviews)

Related Media

Storm Ridge Ranch Website Homepage

SRS Education Website Homepage

Former Storm Ridge Ranch Website Homepage (archived, 2003)

Storm Ridge Ranch – Secret Prisons for Teens