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juvnile boot camps information



wilderness programs and boot camps information

Wilderness Programs

Most people know of or call wilderness programs- "boot camps". Wilderness programs and juvenile boot camps are very similar in a lot of ways. They both contain a rugged environment where the students go on extensive hikes and do extensive physical activity in a natural setting. They both are short term programs ranging from 2-6 weeks. Because they are short term they both are ineffective in long term change and are designed or helpful with preventive type problems. Generally they will be based on some type of merit type system where the teens will get merits for contributing and good behavior. They both put an emphasis on discipline and not as much on emotional growth or academics. They generally will contain a graduation type program similar to an army basic training, where if they finish their trek or the program guideline they will graduate.

Wilderness programs and juvenile boot camps are different in a few ways. Wilderness programs and boot camps started up in 1983 as an alternative for juvenile justice system. Then in the 90's the market pushed more towards wilderness programs instead boot camps. Boot camps had started to get a bad rap as being to tough, so wilderness programs came up as a alternative to boot camps. Wilderness programs generally do not tend to be as intense with a in your face type of approach. Wilderness programs generally will have more of a clinical therapy present within their programs.


"Programs found to be ineffective by themselves at reducing recidivism are increased surveillance, psychodynamic or unstructured counseling, home confinement, regular probation services, frequent drug testing, wilderness / survival programs, electronic monitoring, and boot camps."
National Mental Health Association
Short term. Can help with preventive problems or with early interventions. Can be a good primer for a long term solution such as a specialty boarding school behavior modification program or residential treatment center.


Very expensive ranging from $100-$500 a day. Short term is ineffective with helping teens overcome long term problems. Rugged natural environment can make teens subject to health risk.