Troubled Teen Options

What Is a Brat Camp?

A brat camp - or a wilderness therapy program for teens - is an option for parents and families with defiant teenagers. Many times parents have tried many things and are close to giving up hope. They'd rather not take the drastic step of sending their teenager to boarding school full-time. A brat camp can be a way to reform teenagers sooner.

A brat camp is really a school that is for therapy purposes. They are similar to military camps but they have a different purpose. Brat camps are specifically for reforming and not simply learning discipline. They have helped thousands of children and teenagers who struggle with behavioral and emotional issues.

How do Brat Camps Work?

Brat camps are outdoor camps. Once there, your child or teen has no place to go. There are no stores to spend money, no new people to meet, or outside influences to distract them. They will be in groups of peers with staff that is trained in how to effectively reach teenagers. These teen camps are located in the wilderness or the outdoors. The natural world is the classroom and it's a very healing one - not just for teens but anyone. When up against the power of the elements and natural world, we all fold. So when your child or teenager is up against something much bigger than they are, they are often ready to listen. They get a sense of perspective that few other things will teach them. A professional staff helps train the teens and bring out their full potential.

While the staff will talk straight to teens about responsibility they do not humiliate them or discipline them with threats or physical discipline. Trained and licensed therapists and counselors are there to teach and model responsibility. Taking troubled teens or children out of their regular environment gives them an opportunity to get perspective on their choices and where they will lead.

Brat camps are physically demanding and they are usually long term. Otherwise they could not effect lasting change. Your teen will learn integrity, respect, and self-discipline - the very things most are missing. They do not have to consent to the program and there is no incentive to run away. This is a good first step for a troubled teen - and for most, exactly what they need to turn their lives around.