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Wilderness Programs

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Wilderness Programs

Most parents, and teens alike have heard the term "wilderness program" before. However, there are some misconceptions about these programs. In this article, I will hope to briefly explain what a wilderness program is, and state some pro's and con's.
Teen Wilderness programs take a somewhat different approach than most teen boarding schools. A typical wilderness program has a much shorter time length than more traditional boarding schools. Programs will range from 30 days to 3 months on average.

Teens will find themselves in much smaller groups, and will experience intense physical activities, with plenty of solo time to reflect upon actions, consequences, and rewards. Teens will learn basic survival skills, and grow to appreciate nature as they spend time with it.

    Some of the pros of a Wilderness Program are as follows:
  • Small group sizes
  • Strong emphasis on group work
  • Strict exclusion from the "world"
  • Much 1 on 1 time with tutors/mentors
  • Very high success rate

  • Some of the cons of Wilderness Programs are as follows:
  • Usually quite expensive
  • Very Physically demanding (not all teens may qualify)
  • Little contact with teen while he/she is in the program
  • More oriented for boys, however girls/coed programs do exist

Overall, the wilderness program is a very good choice. They are the most expensive type of troubled teen program, but they have great results. Teens who are experiencing severe depression, suicidal thoughts, bi-polar, aggressive, defiant, or disrespectful would qualify for most wilderness programs. Click here for a listing of Troubled Teen Wilderness Programs.

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