Staff ratio numbers. It is possible your teen could get lost in the crowd and miss out on the life-changing experience needed. The whole purpose of going to a wilderness camp is to help your troubled teen turn their life around. With few instructors at the camp there is a chance your teen will not get the necessary attention. Check to see the ratio of staff to students. The more instructors the better the chance your child will get personal attention.
Definite therapy. The best camps are those which have specific goals in relation to therapy. If your teen suffers from ADHD and needs precise therapy to help their concentration then the best camp is one which caters exactly for your teen’s needs. General therapy will have its benefits but where a known condition exists then a known course of treatment must follow.
Healthy balance. The best wilderness camps have a blend of summer camp type activity and a program of therapy. It’s important your teen gets to work and play in the open air, tackles all sorts of outdoor activities but also that they receive plenty of the right type of therapy. Too much of one is not the right balance. A good mix is ideal. Remember that the social and skill-learning aspects are also important. The best camps include all these things.
Confidence building. Whatever else your teen will experience, the best camps give opportunities to challenge the participants. When the challenges are met, participants gain an increase in their confidence. It might be paddling a canoe, hiking, horse riding, rope climbing or sailing. The best camps offer structured outdoor activities which challenge and then reward the teens.
Best settings. The best wilderness camps are located in the ideal location. Beautiful scenery, ideal to explore and enjoy and far away from the distractions of home, friends and family. Just by looking at photos of the location you will get a feel for the quality of the environment.
Natural therapy. Of course trained therapists are essential but the allow the beauty of nature to have its own healing effect on the teens. Nature has a way of inspiring and teaching us about safety and respect for the environment. The best camps will have a mission statement which preaches this philosophy.
Long term benefits. The best camps offer programs which allow your teen to change their life forever. The best camps are not interested in short term gain. They know that if their ‘graduates’ go on to become solid citizens then the word will spread. Parents will speak highly of the teen’s success at such and such a wilderness camp. The best camps will have plenty of glowing testimonials.
The word best is subjective. Two people may disagree on which is the best. But you can judge quite clearly by assessing each camp according to the issues in this article.
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