Nadine: The Challenger Foundation Survivor Now Prefers a Quiet Life

As a documentary film living up to its title in every way conceivable, Netflix’s Liza Williams-directed’ Hell Camp: Teen Nightmare’ can only be described as equal parts bewildering and haunting. That’s because it comprises not just archival footage but also exclusive interviews to really shine a light upon the way therapy camps rarely ever work — they actually do more harm than good. Amongst those to thus help navigate the same here is Nadine — so now, if you simply wish to learn more about her as well as her current standing, we’ve got the necessary details for you.

Who is Nadine?

It was back in August 1989 when Nadine’s whole world turned upside down as she was “kidnapped” at the tender age of 15 to be taken to a wilderness survival program for troubled teens in Utah. “I’ve always been a rabble-rouser, black sheep of the family,” she candidly said in the original. “You know, as a kid with no power, the only power you have is your behavior. So, I would act out a bit.” Her rebellion was admittedly in the form of drinking and partying, but it then went to such an extent she could be classified as a stoner, plus her boyfriend was also the town’s troublemaker.

Nadine hence believes her parents didn’t like her dating him, and her mother didn’t like her. “She was trying to find a way to get rid of me since I was 12,” she somberly stated in the production. “I packed my sh*t and ran away. I was at my boyfriend’s sister’s house, hiding, when the police came. They sent me home with my parents. Um, but they didn’t tell me where I was going after.” That’s when she was taken at night by two “mountain men,” only to learn her parents had orchestrated it all when she was handed an empty bill envelope, the back of which read, “This is for the best, we love you.”

“I went to sleep thinking I’d be going to school the next day,” Nadine expressed in the production. “The house was dark. My parents weren’t there, and I was woken up by two men standing over my bed. They were big. They told me if I tried to run, they will handcuff me. They grabbed me and forcibly removed me from my house” before placing me on a private jet to take me to the middle of a Utah desert. Thus, all she had for survival for the ensuing 63 days were the clothes on her back as well as her wits, which she could use to earn her daily food and water intake — there were no tents, no nothing.

The teens were actually given specific instructions to follow, the failure of which meant either a punishment or a much longer stay in the camp, so of course, Nadine compared it to ‘Lord of the Flies.’ After all, they were made to sleep on stony grounds, carry heavy rocks on hikes, weren’t given toilet paper, and were expected never to complain even if they were dirty, dusty, unhygienic, or fell sick. In the end, she vividly remembers that when her parents came to pick her up, “My mother didn’t want to get close to me [or hug me] because I smelled. We got in the car, and she rolled the window down.”

Where is Nadine Now?

Because of everything Nadine went through not only with her family but also at the therapy camp, she has “spent most of my life, just trying to survive. Then I put myself in situations where I have to survive, you know, because that’s what I know. That’s where I’m comfortable.” It hence comes as no surprise she prefers to keep both her personal as well as professional life well away from the limelight these days, meaning we unfortunately do not know much regarding her current standing except for the fact she’s likely doing her best to move on from the past by serving as an advocate for her fellow survivors.

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