Wilderness camps have a lot to offer. They are short, running between 30 and 60 days and studies show they have a positive effect even 12 months after the stay at the camp is complete. They are ideal to help a teen in trouble giving them the time and space to break away from the source of their problem. Wilderness camps are much shorter than boarding school stays and less rigorous than boot and military camps. They are an ideal choice for many troubled teens. But it needs to be understood, a wilderness camp will not be the perfect place to send every troubled teen.
Making the choice involves two factors.
- Is your teen the ideal candidate for a wilderness camp and
- If so, which camp best suits your teen?
If your teen has lost enthusiasm for life, if they areand need a boost to sharpen their appetite for study and getting involved with others, a wilderness camp may be ideal. On the other hand if your teen is into a heavy rebellious state, is involved with drugs and running foul of authorities, a wilderness camp may not be the ideal choice.
But having decided a wilderness camp is the best option, you then need to choose the right one. Basically a wilderness camp is just that. Participants camp in the wilderness which may be the forest or a desert or a mountain area. There are few if any mod cons. The teens have to cook, wash and even light their camp fires without matches. It’s a challenge.
Therapy programs are part of the camp so those problem areas in your teen’s life are addressed as well. It’s a time to take the teen’s mind away from distractions and help them concentrate on making new friends and raising the bar on their own game.
Wilderness camps list their phone number and email address and parents of prospective clients are encouraged to contact each camp and ask questions. This is certainly a good way to proceed. But have your questions ready before you call.
Be able to explain exactly what is troubling your teen and make sure that the programs offered by the camp will specifically address your son or daughter’s needs.
There is always the possibility of talking to parents who have already sent their teen to a wilderness camp. This can be an excellent source of information. Did the camp help their child? In what way? Did the benefits gained at the camp continue once they returned home? Would you recommend this particular wilderness camp?
The benefits of a wilderness camp are obvious. Being away from home and isolated in the wilderness, participants learn to become independent and at the same learn to co-operate with those in the same situation. The benefits are positive and as more studies of camps are completed, the benefits are found to be long-lasting.
For the right type of troubled teen, a wilderness camp may be the ideal solution.
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