Are you looking for help and guidance in dealing with a troubled teen? Perhaps you are worried that your defiant teen is going off the rails and want to get them back on track? Do you fear that your teen is using drugs or alcohol? Perhaps they are moody, mixing with unfamiliar friends, and increasingly hostile or secretive? If that sounds familiar a boot camp for kids or boot camp for teens could be the answer to your problem.
What is a boot camp for teens?
A boot camp for teens is a camp program designed to be like a military institution but catering for defiant and disrespectful teens who have problems with authority. They are taught discipline and structure through strict military exercises, and rigorous physical training, often starting early in the morning and are very physically, as well as psychologically, demanding. A camp program designed for troubled teens is usually short term and physically intense, whereas a residential program is generally used to help teenagers, over a longer period of time with a multi-faceted approach that may involve some boot camp style activities.
Who can attend a teen boot camp?
Boot camps usually accept students who fall into the following categories;
Teens from the ages 12-18
Teens who are falling behind in school
Teens using drug or alcohol
Teens that are defiant or resist authority
Teens with minor legal problems
How does it work?
Most boot camps are geared towards behaviour modification. There is a consequence for any bad choice a teen may make, and he/she is redirected, helping the teen make better choices. Teen boot camps are effective in fixing attitude problems as well as helping teens with emotional growth. A Boot camp will get teens away from old friends, attitudes, habits and behaviours. They are able to start developing new choices, attitudes and behaviours. Teens learn that smart choices lead to good rewards.
How much does it cost?
Duration of a boot camp is anywhere from two weeks to one year. The cost of a boot camp is usually $2,500 to $5,000 per month. Some do offer types of financial aid (student loan) Payments can be as low as $400 per month.
Short-term boot camps typically operate between May and August while a long-term boot camp accepts new cadets year-round during any month. A long-term boot camp is not just drill and exercise for the entire time. They usually start with a boot camp schedule the first couple of months, and then turn into more of a military based boarding school where cadets can do high school academics, college prep courses, and learn other life skills as well. Activities at a boot camp may include: drills, military exercises, physical training, service projects, cooking, first-aid training, sports, and academics. (A short-term boot camp does not offer academics)
There are also other popular intervention programs aside from “boot camps” —there are therapeutic boarding schools, wilderness therapy, and residential treatment programs designed to help a teenager in crisis but these programs differ vastly and there are number of important differences. A teen boot camp is not always the right option for your child. There are many types of troubled teens with many different problems. It would be impossible for one troubled teen program to cover such a wide range of adolescent issues. You may wish to look at alternative options such as boarding schools or wilderness programs. See our page: Troubled Teen Programs
Boot Camps for kids
Some bootcamps will accept troubled children aged 9 onwards, although the average age is 12-18. Younger children may benefit from counselling or family therapy before the idea of boot camp is utilised.
If you think someone in your family could benefit from a teen boot camp you should arrange to visit any you are interested in so you can get a real sense of what they can offer your family and how they can work with your troubled teen.
If you want to find out more then please see these resources;
- To find a teen boot camp, wilderness camp, ranch or Residential Treatment Program please use our Directory
- To find out about all the types of teen programs available
- To find out more about Wilderness Therapy programs
- If you are trying to work out if your child has a problem please see this page
- For more details on boot camp workouts please see this page