Many parents today turn to boot camps to help their kids when they go off track. Boot camps are by far the most popular choice when parents look for outside help with their teens.

Every parent wants the right thing for their kids. They want them to grow up healthy and happy. They also want there to be harmony in the home and have kids that are well behaved. That is sometimes a tall order.

When there are problems, it is sometimes hard to tell how serious they are or what to do about them. A discipline problem, drug problem, or attitude problem can be caused by a lot of different things. The problems can be mild and easily corrected or severe and require extensive intervention.

Often, parents with difficult teens just want to catch a break and have their teens spend time away from home. Nothing wrong with that. Boot camps seem to be a logical choice, but are they really the best choice?

Is Boot Camp The Answer?

Boot camps are modeled after military boot camps. Many of the boot camps offer the same sort of activities that would be offered in a military boot camp: a drill sergeant, barracks, strict routine, exercise, and focus on discipline. Quite often this results in harsh treatment, military-style breaking down and rebuilding the personality to be obedient, disciplined, and respectful.

Boot Camp As An Alternative To Jail Time

Boot camps for troubled teens started out as alternatives to sending teens to jail. Kids sent to boot camp by the court system were usually involved in petty crimes. Boot camp was (and still is) seen as a way to help kids without throwing them in jail. As more and more municipalities adopted boot camps, private groups began to offer similar services. Today there are boot camps for troubled teens all over the country.

Pros of Boot Camp

  • Respect Authority
  • Discipline
  • Responsibility
  • Self-Control

Cons of Boot Camp

  • Not Addressing Emotional Issues
  • Harsh Physical Requirements
  • No Therapeutic Elements
  • Can Make Things Worse
  • Short-lived Changes
  • Early Intervention Only
  • Punishment and Scare Tactics

Boot Camps Have Their Place

Boot camps are popular because they fit in with an an accepted mental model: the military boot camp. Also, they are an appropriate option for some teens, namely teens that are showing criminal behavior. However, boot camps are not places to send teens that are struggling with more complex issues and behaviors. Studies have shown that boot camps are not that affective, regardless of their popularity.

What Makes Fire Mountain Different

Fire Mountain Residential Treatment Program is a good alternative to boot camps for troubled teens. Fire Mountain offers a complete program that includes education, positive discipline, recreation, equine-assisted therapy, individual personal therapy, parental involvement and more. The focus is on creating long-term results.

  • Therapy
  • Recreation
  • Education
  • Involves Whole Family
  • Multifaceted Approach
  • Focus on Long-Term Change
  • Early Middle and Late Intervention

Look First At Residential Treatment

Many parents that send their troubled teens to boot camp would be better served sending them to Fire Mountain instead. Our treatment programs and youth camps have the same benefits as a boot camp, but go much further. We focus on the entire person: physical, spiritual, and psychological. If you take a look at our curriculum, you can see that the program is all encompassing.

“…your program gives them the tools to help guide them in the right direction.”
Susan, Jim & Adam