Boot Camp

Boot camps instill respect and discipline

In recent years, there has been an increase in the viability and popularity of teen boot camps. The most successful boot camps for troubled teens have noble goals and don't aim to break the spirit of the teen. Rather, they attempt to provide the tools these kids need to get their lives on track and enforce self-discipline as they grow into adults. They try to teach practical skills and modify unhealthy and destructive behaviors so these troubled teens are in a position to make better decisions. Properly done, teen boot camp leaves attendees with heightened senses of self-pride, responsibility and respect for authority. Youth boot camp encourages kids to be more accountable for their actions, and can help with everything from addiction to disrespect for authority.

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What Can Parents Expect From a Juvenile Boot Camp?

It's important to remember that a juvenile boot camp isn't a cure-all, nor is it right for every family or every teen. The costs vary, but usually range in the thousands of dollars for a 30-day stay. A discussion of the costs involved should be one of the primary topics you address with the director of the boot camp you're considering.

The amount of control and input parents have over the camp's programs can vary, too. You should expect to be asked to keep your visits to a minimum; this isn't because the camp has anything to hide, but because it's a vital part of their correction strategy. Boot camps have highly structured programs and regulations; these are in place for the benefit of your child.

Usually, the first question parents ask is, "Will my teen be safe while in your care?" The short answer is yes. That said, it's important to choose the right facility for your child's specific needs. You'll want to ensure there are structured activities that will teach and build those vital life skills that are so critical for a successful adulthood. Your teen will be held accountable for all of his actions while at the camp; he or she will have a specific bedtime, limits on socializing and a highly structured daily regimen. Many of these boot camps have a spiritual foundation, and there might be religious activities for your teen to participate in.

Tips for Choosing the Right Boot Camp

Choosing the right facility is a matter of doing your homework. You'll want to check with your local Better Business Bureau to make sure a particular facility has no outstanding complaints filed against it. When considering a camp, ask for references so that you can contact former clients. Also, check out the camp with your state's licensing board. There, you'll be able to verify that the facility is licensed, and you'll also be informed of any accusations of mistreatment or wrongdoing.

Remember, while you want your child's attitude and behavior to improve, you also want him or her to have a safe experience. It's important to put a great deal of thought and care into your selection and make sure the camp's philosophies agree with your own.