Now not every troubled teen should attend a wilderness camp. Someone who has serious health concerns or someone who has serious problems with the law might realistically be better off in a boot camp, military school or long-term boarding school.
But a wilderness camp with its mix of therapy and an outdoor adventure lifestyle is a brilliant way to help your child.
And while you as a parent need to get the choice of wilderness camp right, do not neglect the role which you play once your teen leaves for the camp. You trust your teen to the experts in therapy and outdoor education but you too have a role to play. To make sure your son or daughter gets the maximum benefit from their stay, here are some things you as the parent can and should do.
- Keep in touch by telephone. The phone calls are not to your child but to your child’s therapist. Weekly calls lasting up to 30 minutes give you the news about your child but the therapist will also have questions for you. Every troubled teen is unique and every therapist wants as much information as possible to make sure your child gets the best possible result from their therapy.
- Keep in touch by letter. These can be faxed or emailed and must be sent once a week. Your letters play an important role during the therapy sessions with your child at camp.
- Attend workshops. The better wilderness camps run seminars or classes for the parents of the camp residents. These are vitally important. A troubled teen is part of a family and when they return from camp, everything must be in place to ensure the ‘new’ teen goes on to a better and more fulfilled life. At the workshops parents learn about how they can continue the positives picked up at camp by their child.
One of the best ways to decide if a wilderness camp is the right choice for your is to read the testimonials from parents who sent their child to that camp. Parents who were in such an anxious state over the health and future of their teen are now smiling and bursting with pride at the new teenager who has returned home. The Wilderness Camp program can do wonders for a troubled teen.
Children can find themselves in trouble at different ages and wilderness camps take kids as young as 13. Whatever the age of your troubled teen, a proven way to help them change their bad habits and return with hope and respect for themselves and others is by enrolling them in a wilderness camp.
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