TEEN BOARDING SCHOOLS
Frequently Asked Questions about our Summer Camps
Are therapeutic wilderness programs safe?
For any quality therapeutic wilderness program, student safety is priority one. Of course, specific safety issues and concerns will depend upon the unique nature of the program you are considering. The best advice for parents is to ask direct questions to the staff and management of the wilderness program you are considering in order to ensure that you are completely satisfied with the safety protocols they have in place.
Can parents visit a program to see it in action before enrolling a child?
Every therapeutic wilderness program has unique programs and policies in place regarding student safety, parent involvement and visitations. Every reputable wilderness program should have no problem discussing student safety and other issues in an open and honest manner. However, the nature of the programs may make site visitation challenging. As always, the best advice is to ask questions – and keep asking until you are satisfied with the answers you have received.
How do I know if a wilderness program will be effective for my child?
When selecting a program for your child (wilderness, residential or other type) the most important issue is determining if a particular program is prepared to meet the specific needs of your child. One way to make this determination is for you to take our assessment test to see if your child may be in need of (and can benefit from) such a program.
Should I consider an overseas program for my child?
We always advise parents in the United States to be extremely cautious when considering an overseas residential or wilderness program for their children. Among the many concerns we have is the fact that laws and rules that govern residential and wilderness programs in the U.S. do not apply to foreign programs. For more information, please review this formal statement from the U.S. State Department regarding overseas behavior modification programs. You can view it here.
How much do therapeutic wilderness programs cost?
The best and most effective therapeutic wilderness programs offer highly individualized services and varying lengths of stay; as a result, enrollment costs will fluctuate depending upon a number of individual factors.
To get the most accurate possible picture of the expenses associated with a wilderness program, it’s best to contact the program directly. Intake staff members at any reputable wilderness program should be happy to work with you to develop a detailed financial picture based upon your family’s unique needs.
How can I get my defiant child to accept placement in a therapeutic wilderness program?
Clearly, the ideal circumstance is for a student to understand the need for enrolling in a therapeutic wilderness or residential program, and to enter the program with a positive mindset. However, for many families, the student’s defiance and resistance are the primary reasons why treatment is being sought in the first place.
Our best advice is to discuss this matter with the admissions advisors at the program you have selected (or are considering). There are a number of options – such as escort services – that resolve this issue for you and ensure that your child gets the help he or she needs.
Will my child need to go onto a residential program after the wilderness experience, or can he or she come straight home?
Post-program placements depend upon the specific needs and issues of each child. If you have an adolescent or teenager with serious behavioral, emotional, and/or academic issues, a longer term residential boarding school may be the ideal location following the wilderness experience.
However, in many other cases, students respond extremely well to this short-term therapeutic approach and will well upon returning home. As with many other issues, the best step is to inquire with each program you are considering in order to make the best decisions based upon your family’s unique circumstances.
What can I do to prepare for when my teenager comes home?
Many times a family has been in chaos and turmoil for months or years by the time they seek an intervention such as an outdoor wilderness program. Parents may find it helpful to seek family counseling so as to learn how to better cope with the issues they have faced. This can help you enormously in dealing with your child when he or she returns. This is not to say that you are the problem, just that sometimes negative coping techniques have become entrenched after dealing with a defiant child for a long period of time. Therapy can help you learn better, more effective techniques for understanding and working with your child when he or she returns home.
What can I do to prepare for when my child returns home?
Many parents find it helpful to seek family counseling in order to learn how to better cope with the issues they have faced. And many of the more effective wilderness programs incorporate some form of family involvement to ensure that parents and siblings are prepared to make the necessary changes to ensure a healthier and more productive environment for all family members. Opportunities such as family therapy, family education and related experiences can improve your ability to understand, assist and support your child when he or she returns home.