If this describes your situation, you should seriously consider sending your troubled teen to a wilderness camp? Studies show that teens who attend a in many cases enjoy a marked change in their attitude. This is a change for the good and the benefits continue long after the camp is complete.
Wilderness camps include therapy sessions aimed specifically at your teen’s troubles but it is the setting which helps discipline your child.
The Great Outdoors
Imagine the scene of a wilderness camp. It is isolated, there are no shopping malls or movie screens any where in the vicinity. There are no fast food outlets. And to survive, every participant must co-operate and work hard. That in itself is a new experience for many troubled teens. They are used to their meals being prepared for them by their parents and they can sleep in a comfortable bed and listen to their favorite music whenever they want.
Now picture the wilderness camp. The teens have to cook their meals. They have to make the fire to cook the food and the fire is lit by old-fashioned means without matches.
So immediately you can see the discipline constraints which apply. Fetch the water, fetch the firewood, make the fire, cook the meal and then wash up and pack up. For many troubled teens these are new experiences and certainly put pressure on them to pull their weight.
Then there is the peer pressure. If the other teens are doing the right thing, no adult figure in authority such as a parent or teacher is required to order them around. The efforts being made by their peers means your troubled teen needs to co-operate and this is an ideal form of discipline. They do what has to be done to help their mates.
The expression ‘a change of scenery’ is apt here. A troubled teen can easily fall into a rut or routine. The incentive to get out of bed and work hard at school can fade and even disappear altogether. At a wilderness camp the change of scenery stimulates a change of attitude. You’re sleeping outdoors, you’re mixing with new people, you’re being asked to cook your meals and you’re being led by trained therapists who are experienced in working with troubled teens.
There is much to be said for this change in the routine and setting of your teen’s life. All the threats and entreaties from you the parent may be a waste of time. But the discipline required when on a wilderness camp and away from the family can make all the difference. Not to mention the healthy lifestyle and the exercise of living in the great outdoors.
Here are additional resources you might be interested in: