Boot Camps for troubled teens are used as an alternative to jail for troubled teens who have gotten caught up in early criminal behavior. Boot camps are typically overseen and regulated by State, county, or city juvenile court systems, and they are not typically designed as private therapeutic programs. WinGate Wilderness Therapy is the alternative to the public boot camp programs. Private citizens (parents) who want to avoid the juvenile court system can opt out of the boot camp option and seek real therapeutic intervention. Typically, boot camps for troubled teens do not have a therapeutic component, and are styled after a military disciplinary approach.
There are serveral types of troubled teen boot camps. Discipline and military style physcial challenge is the most prominent type. There is the leadership style boot camp or a military training camp. Regardless of the type of program approach boot camps are typically an early intervention for troubled teens; more like a wake up call. In both types of boot camps the goal is to scare kids straight. Generally the troubled teen responds well to the discipline and physical training, but overall a boot camp is only a short-term solution. Parents often seek out boot camps with the assumption that a "wake up call" is all that is needed for their troubled teen. Although boot camps for troubled teens can work, most of the time the improvement is only temporary.
Boot Camps are modeled after military-style, military exercises, and intense physical training focusing on reality, respect and responsibility. Since many teens lack these characteristics the boot camp can serve a good purpose. The idea is that the military discipline experience should replace the destructive attitudes and behaviors. The hope is that with new a perspective the troubled teen may choose a new direction and avoid long-term problems. The notion behind boot camps is a "reality check", which rarely works. All too often teens come out of the experience with new vigor toward rebellious behavior.
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