A change is as good as a holiday’ is an old saying. And it’s true when it comes to a troubled teen and a wilderness camp. Kids today can get into all sorts of trouble. They can dabble in drugs and alcohol, fight with their parents and teachers, run with the wrong crowd and even suffer from such conditions as depression and ADHD. Parents are naturally very concerned. There are several options and one is the choice of a wilderness camp. This where the change is as good as a holiday.
The discipline is not so much an order barked from on high but rather one of survival. The setting is, as the name implies, the wilderness. The teens can’t pop into the local shopping mall and meet their friends. They are in the wilderness far from the madding crowd. So when the camp orders a march into the wilds and the teens have to do almost everything for themselves, they have to keep up. If they don’t you’ll be hungry and possibly cold and wet.
Some activities in a wilderness camp involve a trek for a week or two into the wilderness away from the base camp. The teens have to carry their pack, find firewood, light a fire without matches, find their own water, cook their own food, pitch their tent and do all this just to survive. It doesn’t take a leader to tell the kids what to do. The discipline is self discipline.
Now this is a major benefit of a wilderness camp. Kids who are lazy, have falling grades at school and a don’t-care attitude are suddenly whipped into action by the need to survive. And the best part is that this experience is a life-changing one. Tough, rebellious kids survive and thrive. Introverted kids come out of their shell and survive and thrive
Another form of discipline at a wilderness camp has nothing to do with orders and rules but rather the setting of the camp. Nature can be spectacular and beautiful and for many teens, the camp offers a huge change of location. The sheer beauty of the environment can attract and inspire kids giving them something new to think about. Instead of their old friends and bad ways, the teens find their new friends and wonderful surrounds to be an effective way of disciplining and changing their attitude.
Another form of discipline which occurs naturally is the set-up of the camp. Away from their city apartment or home, the teens find themselves in bunk beds in log cabins and such and then, when out on the trail on overnight camping trips, sleeping under canvas or even under the stars. This is a quantum leap from their usual living arrangements and such a change gives the teens a short, sharp jolt into the real world. Mind you the peace and tranquility is also a sobering and an inspirational situation.
The reputation of wilderness camps tells of troubled teens finding a new way to look at life. It helps teens turn their life around and return home a revitalized and refreshed young adult.