Wilderness programs vary in duration, focus and rigor. The opportunity to experience life outdoors, to cook over an open fire, set up a tent, tie knots that hold, and learn other survival skills has transformative power for many teenagers.
In general, wilderness programs seek to teach troubled teens respect for authority, self-discipline, cooperation, responsibility, self-respect and self-esteem. Some programs include a staff therapist for group and individual therapy sessions.
If your teenager is especially vigorous and energetic, a rigorous program with heavy physical demands may be suitable. A teen who is less physically strong may benefit from a gentler program.
Wilderness components may also be part of a residential program. They may provide benefits at the beginning of treatment to open the teenager up to doing something with his or her life. In other situations, an outdoor experience in the middle of treatment may provide a needed jumpstart for a teen whose progress has slowed.
Approximate cost $9,000 to $14,000 per month
Programs and services vary
Ask about financial aid options