Written by: Wood Creek Academy
Adolescents have needs that are unique to their age group, and it could be argued that there aren’t enough specialized services to serve the growing number of teenage boys who need them. Outpatient and clinic services prove ultimately effective in these cases, because they rely on the boys returning for treatment. Therapeutic boarding schools have risen as an alternative to traditional mental health care for growing boys, they show several promising advantages.
Communication and Team Building
Therapeutic wilderness programs put kids in situations where they need to rely on one another for assistance. That requires admitting one needs help, learning to trust others, and forming bonds through communication. That team sense carries over into the real world, where kids socialize and ultimately where they will live and work as adults.
Intervention in Severe Abuse Cases
A boot camp for teenagers also acts as a valuable cleansing center. Most of these kids suffer from drug or alcohol abuse, and the wilderness removes them from that environment. The opportunity to cleanse puts them back in a sober state of mind, and also carries a sense of social responsibility with it. One has the opportunity to reflect on the ills of addiction and view those actions with a clear head.
Self-Discipline and Reliance
The final advantage is self reliance. Every boy who leaves a wilderness school does so with the knowledge that he overcame a great deal of challenges and proved to himself what he was capable of. That kind of thing changes someone for the better. Self reliance isn’t something you can teach another person, but it is something teenage boys can earn spending days out in the wilderness.