What Happens at a Boot Camp for Kids?


Quick Answer

Daily life at a boot camp for kids involves a great deal of strenuous physical exercise and a variety of challenges, according to Troubled Teen Boot Camps. In addition, children at these camps are provided with opportunities for discussion regarding what they're going through at the camps and other issues they need to work through.

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Boot camps for troubled kids can differ significantly in type and tone, as About.com Parenting explains. Some boot camps take a military approach, while others focus on a wilderness experience. Healthy boot camp experiences involve instructors who are qualified for their positions, opportunities for therapy, instruction in coping and social skills, and discipline based on reward systems rather than fear.

Children at a boot camp do not have the option of refusing to do what they're ordered. According to Troubled Teen Boot Camps, the fact that refusing to follow orders meets with harsh consequences helps teenagers to redirect their energies and start to learn teamwork.

ABC News points out that deaths have occurred at some kids' boot camps, and the causes have ranged from a collapse after running in extreme heat to suicide. The key to a successful boot camp experience appears to involve some version of after-care that includes counseling and a curfew.

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