What is a Boot Camp for Troubled Teens?

Boot camp for troubled teens may not be the best choice for parentsA boot camp for troubled teens is normally thought of as camp-type setting with a strict, regimented, militaristic style of discipline and “tough-love” approach. Visions of barracks, drill sergeants, group exercises and exhausting wilderness hikes often come to mind. These places exist and appeal to parents who are seeking a quick-fix or want their children to appreciate what they have at home or want to use the program as a disciplinary measure.

What are the Benefits of a Boot Camp for Troubled Teens?

A boot camp for troubled teens may claim to benefit participants in several ways. This may include, an increased level of fitness, an increased sense of self-worth, and a sense of being able to “tough it out”. Boot camps can be a catalyst for change but usually do not provide a long-term solution. It is thought that boot camps for troubled teens in Canada have generally been outlawed.

What is the Downfall of a Boot Camp for Troubled Teens?

One problem with a boot camp is that participants are provided with interventions that may be effective in the environment in which the program is run but have virtually no transferability or long-term impact once the youth has left the program. As one excited program leader explained, “One of our students demonstrated his problem-solving skills by making a toilet seat out of twigs and branches”. What the instructor failed to mention was that this learned skill had little use for the student once he was back in his regular home and school environment. The supposedproblem-solvingg skills are not relevant to the young person’s life once out of the program.

Unlike Venture Academy, boot camps for troubled teens or military schools for troubled teens are set in an isolated or artificial environment which is not conducive for skill transference. (going back home).

Another problem with boot camps is the “break them down mentality” which can be damaging for youth with emotional or mental health challenges as this approach may make their condition worse or make them feel worse about themselves. “Tear them down and build them up” is a saying that is often heard in a boot camp. This is a concerning mandate to Venture Academy (client) parents.

Does Venture Academy Provide a Boot Camp for Troubled Teens?

Parents may sometimes look for a boot camp for troubled teens – a quick fix to troubles that have been emerging either recently or over a long period of time. Venture Academy implements residential treatment programs as an effective alternative to boot camp for troubled teens in Canada.

As a licensed and accredited TREATMENT program, Venture Academy assesses each teens’s emotional and mental health needs so that there is not only clear understanding of what is at the root of the problem, but also treatment approaches designed specifically for each client.

Venture Academy is a preferred alternative to boot-camps, as it provides a structured, well-supervised and effective approach to addressing behavioural issues which includes comprehensive psycho-educational assessment and treatment developed, guided and implemented by well trained, experienced staff.

Venture Academy’s program is designed to be as “real-life” as possible, providing teens with an opportunity to learn new skills in environments that help ensure increased transferability of skills when they return home. They engage in routines while at Venture Academy which allows us to be more confident in their readiness to return to home as well as making the transition home smooth.

Note: For the purpose of the questions and answers provided above, the term “boot camp” for troubled teens is used as loose terminology for “wilderness treatment” for troubled teens or “military school” for troubled teens. Various programs for troubled teens may or may not classify themselves as boot camps.