The therapy side of the program is specific. It deals directly with the type of problem being experienced by the teen. If they have become depressed and retreated to their room or if they have become rebellious at home and/or at school then there is a type of therapy directed to correct or eradicate those issues. And the therapy works on a one to one basis and in group sessions. The emphasis on therapy is a major reason why wilderness camp programs are so successful
You see their aim is to send the teen home with a new state of mind and a healthy body but also equipped with the skills and confidence to continue in this new life for the future. Designers of want their ‘graduates’ to be life long success stories. To make this happen a great deal of time is spent on getting to know the teen and on using the latest therapy techniques and practices.
Constant assessment of each resident is carried out and continuous contact with the parents is maintained. Nothing is left to chance with every effort being made to help the teen change their old lifestyle and become a positive and happy young person.
Then comes the outdoor lifestyle section. Because of the isolated setting in a beautiful landscape, the atmosphere is set to change the young teen’s outlook. But the camp uses this landscape for all manner of activities. These are a mix of fun and adventure but allied with a challenge and learning experience. Self-reliance and teamwork are too major gains for the participants.
They learn to become self-sufficient. They have to collect their own water supply and firewood. They have to light their own fire without matches. They have to cook their own meal. A hike away from the base camp is a highlight with such hikes lasting as long as two weeks. It’s all part of the program to toughen the teens, to teach them to be responsible and caring. And these programs work.
Studies show many graduates from a wilderness camp have enjoyed a complete about turn with their attitude and behavior undertaking a major change for the good. And the best bit of news is that the new teen continues in this pattern long after they have left the camp. This is the type of result every worried parent dreams about.
The programs offered will vary from camp to camp but the essentials remain the same. Intensive and specific therapy sessions throughout and plenty of safe and healthy outdoor education activities. Academic studies are also available although they are not a priority. A wilderness camp program aims to change the heart and mind of every troubled teen and have them leave refreshed and skilled up to take on the challenges life will bring their way.
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