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What to Expect in Teen Boot Camps

The values of a teen boot camp experience for the youth in your life are many. If you have seen a boy or girl come back from a teen boot camp a changed teenager, it gives you motivation to look into it for your own son or daughter.
A teen boot camp is not like summer camp or any other experience your teenager has ever been through before. It is designed to be a life-changing event. This is especially important if the youth being sent to the teen boot camp has had a run-in with the law or is at risk in other ways.

There are numerous testimonials of the ability of teen boot camps to turn troubled teenagers around. But it is a good idea to know exactly what you can expect from a teen boot camp. Knowing what teen boot camps are all about is important for parents so their expectations are realistic. But it is also important for the teenager who is getting ready to go into a teen boot camp experience. The more they are prepared for what they are going to experience, the greater their success will be at camp.

Teenagers Can Expect to Feel Homesick.

Even a “tough kid” will often feel homesickness at boot camp. Part of the reason is that in every possible way, their familiar lifestyle is disrupted. The homesickness a teenager feels at teen boot camp is about more than missing mom or dad. It also comes from missing their friends and the lifestyle of living at home and in their own community.

There is something disconcerting about suddenly being thrust into a situation of stress with dozens of other teenagers that you do not know. You can help your teenager prepare for the homesickness he or she will feel while at teen boot camp by sending pictures of familiar faces. Also, send along small personal items that are comforting to the youth. These little things can make the difference in getting your teenager past that first few weeks of camp where homesickness can become a problem.

Teenagers Can Expect to Stay Constantly Busy.

The experience your teenager is about to go through is not called a “boot camp” for nothing. From the minute a teenager arrives at a teen boot camp, he or she will be constantly engaged in activities that are designed to challenge that teenager. Boot camp will seek to impose a new kind of discipline into the life of the teenager and to take that teenager out of his or her “safety zone”.

That constant activity will be demanding physically, mentally and emotionally in ways that most teenagers have never experienced. And once your teenager gets through a day of highly demanding activity, he or she will sleep soundly to wake up to another day just like it and then another and then another.

Teenagers Can Expect Plenty Of Physical And Emotional Discipline.

The regimen of discipline we just described will tax a teenager who is going through a teen boot camp in ways like he or she have never known before. It’s common for a teen to experience feelings of disorientation and even panic thinking that he or she cannot make it. This is normal and your child’s teen boot camp trainers will know how to get him or her through it.

In order to be successful at introducing a new level of discipline to a teenager, boot camps first must strip away the familiar so that the young person is dependent on their drill instructor to get them through the ordeal. When that happens, those feelings of disorientation and panic will quickly be transitioned to physical, mental and emotional disciplines that will last a lifetime.

In Some Boot Camps, Communication is Limited.

It is common at a teen boot camp that the attendees cannot call home or have any outside communication for the first third or so of the training. This is not to be sadistic to the kids being trained or because anything insidious is being done.

This is done so that the youth will focus all of their mental, physical and emotional efforts on adapting to the very demanding course of training that they must conquer. By taking away the ability of the attendees to call mom or dad, that enables them to bond with each other and with their drill instructor. That bonding helps attendees find ways to cope with the challenges they face.

You Might Get Sick But That’s Normal.

It’s a good idea for your teenager to expect to feel ill or even get sick in the first week or two of teen boot camp. Teenagers in a disciplined and very active boot camp experience go through a huge change to their schedules of sleep and when they eat, what they eat and how much.

It is common for youth that get through a teen boot camp will lose weight. It’s good to prepare teenagers for the physical adjustments they will experience which may feel like they are getting sick. But that feeling will pass once they get used to their new schedule. In fact, once they adjust to life at a teen boot camp, it will make them stronger and better people as well.

Friendships Will Be Forged At Teen Boot Camp.

Your teenager will have a boot camp experience that will be a tremendous challenge for him or her. But your child will not have to face that challenge alone. He or she will go through this experience with a number of other youth. These youth will eat together, sleep together, work out together and come to rely on each other.

They will bond because unless they help each other, they will feel that nobody in the group will make it. These will be friendships that will endure long after the teen’s experience at boot camp is over. If your teenager gets nothing else from teen boot camp, those friendships will have lifelong value to him or her.

Parents Should Be Prepared For The Costs.

Teen boot camps are not cheap. Besides the costs of housing, food and other necessities, boot camps employ the expertise of highly trained drill instructors and camp administration who know exactly what they are doing. Depending on how long the teen boot camp will last, a typical time at boot camp can cost many thousands of dollars. It’s a big investment. But considering that a teen boot camp could change your young person’s life forever and for the better, its worth it.

Parents Should Realize That There Are Risks.

Teenagers who go to a teen boot camp will go through a rigorous program of physical training. That training will involve running, obstacle courses and many other kinds of programs that will tax attendees in the program to their limit.

When you enroll your teenager in a teen boot camp, you will be required to sign wavers informing you that there are physical and psychological risks to putting your child into this kind of program. Read those wavers carefully. While most teenagers come out of teen boot camps stronger, more disciplined and even happier people, there are some who have problems at camps or even get hurt. So recognize those risks up front and let your child know about them to so everybody knows what to expect from a teen boot camp experience.

You Expect A Changed Teenager Because of Teen Boot Camp.

A teen boot camp is an intense program of discipline that is carefully crafted to change the life of the kids who come to the camp. It puts attendees into situations where they will be stressed, taxed, challenged and even frightened by the demands being put on them.

Like the equivalent boot camp experience in the military, these programs will give your teenager an experience they will never forget. Moreover, when you pick up your teenager after his or her time at a teen boot camp, you will take home a changed teenager from the experience. Those changes will be for the better and they will continue to bear good fruit in the lives of the youth for many years to come.

There is no question that a teen boot camp has a lot to offer. It can be that singular event to change the life of a teenager who was going down the wrong paths in life. But it should be noted that teenagers are human beings and each one is an individual. So how your child responds to his or her boot camp experience will be unique as well.

There is no such thing as an unconditional guarantee of the success of the program. But the one thing you can expect when you send your teenager to this kind of camp experience is that he or she will come back changed in some way and probably for the better. That alone is worth the cost and effort of giving your teenager a teen boot camp experience.

Here are additional resources you might be interested in:

Kids Boot Camp to Build Child’s Self-Confidence

Choosing a teen boot camp for teenage girls

Choosing a teen boot camp for boys

Do you believe your child needs help, does he or she need "a lesson" or "to get some discipline"?
Boot Camps for Troubled Teens Are Not the Answer.
We DO NOT endorse teen boot camps because they were proven ineffective and dangerous. Learn More!

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