Boot Camps For Teens – The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

Boot Camps for Teens. Is this a viable solution for your teen who is disrespectful, rude, bad-mannered, temperamental, uncivilized, violent, and curses like a rapper on a YouTube video? You’ve thrown up your hands in frustration, because you don’t know where to turn to. You’ve tried the parent teacher conferences, you’ve talked to mentors, friends, counselors, and still you feel that the situation is just hopeless. So you decided to try one of many of these teen camps. Although there are many to choose from, this posting will give you the good, the bad,and the ugly about these camps.

First, are you sure you need a boot camp for your teen? Maybe they’re just bad. Maybe they just need someone to sit them down to have a stern conversation with them. Mischievous behavior does not always equate to juvenile behavior. If it is juvenile behavior, it should be focused on and rooted out. This is the type of behavior that will turn criminal if not checked early in a teens life. Once you have established that you do indeed need a structured intervention like a boot camp there are a few things to know that will help you as a parent make the right decision.

Let’s start with the ugly–Teens have died at boot camps–In a recent news report by CBS/AP “A 14-year-old boy kicked and punched by guards at a juvenile boot camp died because the sheriff’s officials suffocated him, a medical examiner said; this contradicted a colleague who blamed the death on a usually benign blood disorder.” These are the type of boot camps that you want to stay away from. And although this is an isolated incident, it still brings up an important point. A lot of these military, in-your-face, drill sergeant type discipline camps isn’t the setting you should place your teen into unless you’ve tried all alternatives.

We’ve dealt with the ugly now here’s the bad–Boot camps for teens are expensive. On average these camps can easy run in the $40,000 to $50,000 range. In some cases, the state will cover the charge of a boot camp. But you would have to prove hardship and low income levels, and even if you do prove hardship, you still may not qualify. And even if you do have the money to get your child into one of these camps, waiting list are common. There seems to be more kids who need boot camps then there are instructors who offer these services.

So we don’t end on a sour note, we do have some good news about boot camps for teens. They do produce results for teens who are on the verge of joining the incarcerated populations throughout the world. I recently spoke to a woman who enrolled her son in a camp five years ago. She told me he had been skipping school, robbing elders, and hanging with the wrong crowds. Today he is in college working on his Associates degree. But in this case she had tried all other avenues for her troubled son, and boot camp was her one and only choice. In this case, it worked.