The main point to understand is that the two options are like chalk and cheese. They operate in different ways, in different locations and offer different programs. So is there a difference between a wilderness camp and a boot camp? There most certainly is and the choice will depend almost totally on the condition of your teen. And remember you can’t afford to make the wrong choice.
A boot camp is for teens that may need a short, sharp jolt. They are usually mentally and physically fit although some may have gained too much weight. But their grades are dropping and they seem to have little respect for their parents and teachers. They are in danger of letting their education crumble before their eyes.
One definite remedy for this type of capable but lazy teen is to send them to boot camp. Here the rules are strict and enforced. Lots of physical activity and the residents sleep well because they are so tired. The staff members are not there to be friends, although they are certainly capable of being friendly, but rather to whip teens into shape.
On the other hand, your teen may be depressed and have a poor self-image. They may spend far too much time alone in their room and show little interest in mixing with others. They could have a condition like ADHD or dyslexia. They could suffer from depression. This type of teen needs understanding and therapy and a wilderness camp is possibly the ideal venue.
These camps are set in the great outdoors and Mother Nature is one of the best assets of every camp. The staff members are trained professionals who know how to encourage teens and help them build their self-confidence. Each resident is given responsibilities and most take to these like a duck to water. Away from the pressures of their home and school, the teens get to mix with others like them and tackle projects they would not normally encounter.
So it should be obvious the camps do not cater for just any type of troubled teen. And it would be a waste of time and money, not to mention possible harm to your child, to send them to the wrong type of camp. A teen that is low in confidence and in need of therapy and friendship will quite probably go backwards at a boot camp. But then a lazy teen that is in need of a jolt back into reality may get no such jolt hiking in the wonderful wilderness.
Parents take note. You should have your child properly assessed and know precisely what is troubling them. Then you can make a clear decision on a boot camp or a wilderness camp. But that’s not the end of it. You see all camps vary and once you choose either boot or wilderness, you then need to investigate just what each offers in specific terms. Finding the right camp and the best camp is the only way to truly help your troubled teen.