What to Expect from Wilderness Summer Camps for Troubled Teenagers

Wilderness summer camps for troubled teens can be an eye opening experience for them. A dramatic experience like a wilderness summer camp can allow youth who are dealing with serious emotional issues to make some significant changes to the path they are on. It can be a very different setting than what they are used to. That change of location is often just what a troubled teenager needs to get a fresh perspective on life. When they return home, parents, friends and teachers are often very relieved and happy with the differences it has made..

Start Out With the Facts

Most parents and teens really don’t know what to expect though from wilderness summer camps. There is a great deal of incorrect or inflated information out there circulating that can cause panic. For example stories about children being abused or harshly disciplined in such camps are often the product of fiction writers or people who wish to damage all the good wilderness summer camps for troubled teenagers do. You don’t want your child subjected to such situations so those stories can scare you away.

But those are isolated incidents are a rare poorly run camp and they do not represent the hundreds of cases where a troubled youth is helped immeasurably by a wilderness summer camp experience. As you explore what to expect from such summer camps, find out the facts so you can feel better about this option for your son or daughter.

Individualized Programs for Individual Teenagers

The length of time that your child will spend at such a wilderness summer camp can range from one week to three full months. It will depend on the depth of the situation with your child. It will also depend on the approach you want to take. There are programs where your child is placed and how well they progress will determine how long they need to stay.

The most important phase of taking advantage of a wilderness summer camp for troubled teens is the evaluation process. This evaluation goes two ways. There are a wide variety of types of wilderness summer camp programs and it takes some thought and research to find the right one for your child. Take advantage of the knowledge and recommendations of your child’s counselors or psychologist to find a wilderness summer camp setting that is right for him or her.

The camp will also perform some evaluation on whether the program that they have to offer will be the right step for your troubled teenager. Parents should plan to spend some time at the camp, talking to the camp administration so this two way evaluation can be given plenty of time to accomplish its goals. If you are patient, the wilderness summer program you pick can be that pivotal event in a teenager’s life to stop a downward spiral and put that teenager on the road to recovery.

Its All About the Kids

Wilderness summer camp programs help a child to see themselves as someone that is special. Increased self worth can make a huge change in how they behave and how they react to the challenges of life. A strong self image can also help them to react to situations they face in life differently. The various outdoor activities at a wilderness summer camp can help them to find an outlet for stress and learn to unwind so that negative emotions no longer have to stay pent up inside the youth causing emotional and psychological problems.

The idea of a wilderness summer camp is to engage teens in behavior modification. How they respond to triggers will be different. How they communicate will become more effective than in the past. These types of programs can give a teenager tools that they can use to be happier and to make better choices for the rest of their life.

Many experts believe that wilderness summer camps work better than boot camps. That is because at a boot camp, youth are often fearful of the authority that is around them. However, when youth go home from a wilderness summer camp experience, they don’t have those same fears.

A wilderness summer camp can also help when a teen has been through rehabilitation for drugs or alcohol problems. Keep in mind though that the summer camp is only the start. Parents should plan to get their troubled teenagers into a good support group for ongoing help after they return home so that they don’t regress.

Keep in mind that all of the wilderness summer camps out there for troubled teenagers can operate differently. Be a strong advocate for your child and fully explore what goes on before you commit to placing your child there. Get brochures and compile a list of questions. If you take the time to select the perfect wilderness summer camp for your son or daughter, the outcome will be an experience for your child that can mean a new start in life. And that is worth any investment you need to make in that young person.

Here are additional resources you might be interested in:

What Is Life Like in a Wilderness Camp?

Wilderness Camp Therapy Programs