How Long Can I Expect My Teenager to be at a Juvenile Boot Camp?

The purpose of a juvenile boot camp is to dramatically change behavior. When parents are preparing themselves for helping their youth prepare for the very challenging experience of a boot camp for teenagers that lies ahead, it helps to know how long your son or daughter will be away. There are practical and emotional reasons you need to know.

From a practical side, the length of time your teenager will be away will impact the cost of the camp. When a troubled teenager is in a juvenile boot camp, there are a lot of expenses including room and board and the cost of the medical personnel and the drill sergeants and other instructors who work with the teenagers in their charge every day. So obviously, a six month teen boot camp will be significantly more expensive for parents to pay for than a six week boot camp experience.

From an emotional side, having your teenager away at a boot camp experience for a significant period of time will have a big impact on the family as well as on your teenager. Many parents have reservations about being separated from their youngster for many weeks or months. But if your troubled teenager has been a source of stress and trouble for the family, in a way, that separation could be a healthy time for reflection and recuperation as you wait for your teenager to return from juvenile boot camp changed and, hopefully, improved.

The Goal of the Duration

There is a huge variety of styles and approaches that different boot camps for teenagers offer. For that reason, there is no standardized answer for how long the boot camp that will help your troubled teenager might be. The average durations may range from six weeks to six months or longer. A boot camp for teenagers should never be confused with summer camps that youth go to between semesters at school that are designed for entertainment and education for all youth. A boot camp is also not the same as a youth retreat that many churches or youth organizations offer.

In order to be successful in turning a troubled youth around, a juvenile boot camp needs to use dramatic and sometimes harsh methods to break the youth out of old ways of thinking and responding. Then the carefully designed program can give that teenager a new way of viewing things. Through a long series of challenges, the young person realizes success that he or she may never have been able to enjoy before. The outcome is a new sense of self confidence and self esteem based on positive goals, teamwork combined with endurance and hard work.

These objectives take an investment of time to achieve. A stay in a boot camp for teenagers has as its goal nothing short of a complete change in the troubled teenagers who come to the camp. These boot camps are there to stop a troubled teenager from sliding further into a downward spiral that can end in a life of crime, drug addiction or worse. So it is important as parents that we understand that the long durations that boot camps for teenagers require is needed to accomplish such a complete transformation in the life of your child.

Whatever it Takes

A boot camp experience for your teenager is a once in a lifetime experience. In many ways, it is a last resort that parents will turn to if their teenager is in trouble and nothing has helped stop the slide toward more serious problems so far. If your son or daughter has run into trouble with the law, it could be that the judge ordered that he or she go to a juvenile boot camp as an alternative to juvenile detention or prison.

Taken in context of the seriousness of what might happen if your teenager’s life is not turned around, the best way to view the duration that the boot camp for teenagers requires is, “whatever it takes”. If it takes a month, three months or six months, that investment of time and resources could be what is needed to stop your teenager from sliding further into trouble.

To put it in context, if your son or daughter did finally cross the line too far and had spend time in detention, those times in jail could be much longer than any semester a teen boot camp might require. And a juvenile boot camp is dedicated 100% to rehabilitating your teenager. Juvenile detention or prison often do not change the lives of those who go there except for the worse.

But if you can make the investment of time and help your teenager get through the long and difficult program of a boot camp for teenagers, that change could mean the difference between a life of struggle and failure and a new beginning for that teenager in your life. That is worth the investment of time whether it is six weeks, six months or longer. So commit to that duration of time because it could be the turning point you have been wanting for your teenager for a long, long time.

Here are additional resources you might be interested in:

Getting Your Troubled Teenager Ready for Boot Camp

Are Boot Camps for Teenagers Just About Drill Sergeants and Punishment?

The Lessons That Are Learned at a Teen Boot Camp