The type of juvenile boot camp that we most often think of when the term comes up are the harsh and military style of camps that are used to deal with troubled teenagers. These boot camps are an important part of the tools that parents and the legal system can use to turn a youth around before he or she slides into further trouble in society and with the law. Often judges who are sentencing teenagers who have committed crimes will give them option of going to a juvenile detention facility for several years or go to a boot camp for teenagers for six months to a year for rehabilitation.

These judges know the value of juvenile boot camps that focus on turning around tough and difficult kids. These types of juvenile boot camps take full advantage of the methods that are used in military boot camps that do so well at turning soft, civilian boys into military men in just a few short weeks. Using tough physical training, the constant harsh discipline of a military style drill sergeant and challenges that are borderline impossible to achieve, troubled youth are “broken” and reshaped into the kinds of teenager that come away form the camps self confident and ready to become productive members of society.

It is important not to limit what boot camps for teenagers can do for all kinds of young people. The isolation of a boot camp setting can be used to help any teenager reach higher levels of achievement in many focus areas. While there are many boot camps for teenagers that are designed exclusively for troubled teenagers, there are also a wide variety of other types of boot camps for teens.

Each of these alternative types of juvenile boot camps are organized somewhat differently. They generally use similar methods as military style boot camps including barracks style sleeping arrangements and cafeteria food that is over all of high quality. Except in rare exceptions, some level of exercise and physical discipline are included in almost all boot camp experiences and the teenagers are given the guidance of a “drill instructor”. However, in boot camps that are focused on academic or spiritual disciplines, drill instructors are replaced with counsellors or mentors who are there to guide a group of kids through the boot camp experience.

Juvenile Boot Camps for the Body

The ability of a teenage boot camp to focus a youth on physical fitness is profound and well known. Drill sergeants in boot camps for troubled teens often put the youth through rigorous physical exercises every day. So when a teenager wants to excel at a sport, a focused boot camp for teenagers that is dedicated to their passion is a perfect way to get away from home and other demands and spend a few weeks dedicated to improving in their performance in that sport.

There are specialized boot camps for soccer, football, baseball and even cheerleading. While the physical exercise at sports oriented boot camps will be rigorous, the leadership methods and the motivational styles will not be as aggressive and harsh as the drill sergeants might use in other kinds of juvenile boot camps.

Along with lots of running and playing their sport, kids at sports oriented boot camps will get specialized training in their sport and their particular position in their sport. Rounding out the physical boot camp experiences is classroom education in the history of their sport and on strategy, tactics and techniques so the youth will come out of the boot camp an improved athlete in every possible way.

Juvenile Boot Camps for the Mind

Teenagers who are seeking academic excellence and especially those involved in academic competitions can also find boot camps for teenagers that offer them the chance to get away and focus on their ability to move forward in their studies. Academic boot camps can advance a young person’s ability to function under pressure at debate tournaments or other academic competitions. There are also academic boot camps that parents can take advantage of to send a teenager for help with studies when he or she may be falling behind.

These kinds of boot camps for the mind provide advanced tutoring in a boot camp setting. While the focus of the camp is on cerebral activity, these boot camps will often offer stimulating physical exercise and activity to provide ways for teenagers who are working their minds to let off steam playing sports, hiking or enjoying some time in a swimming pool.

Juvenile Boot Camps for the Soul

Along with the great variety of boot camps for teenagers focused on the body and the mind, religious boot camps provide the chance to get away so teenagers can have some time to improve their spiritual lives. Christian camps abound that give youth ways to get away with other youth and focus on their spiritual lives. The exercise and outdoor times have an added benefit of giving youth ways to fellowship with fellow believers and to spend time in natural settings for reflection, meditation and prayer.

Religious boot camps for youth provide counseling for teenagers who may be struggling within their faith with temptations, habits or other personal problems. None of the confrontation or harshness that we associate with boot camps for troubled kids are part of a religious boot camp experience. But along with the fun of living in dorms and enjoying being away from family, these times of concentration on the spiritual life offer classes in religious writings and training times in worship, prayer and other specialized aspects of the faith.

Each of these specialized boot camps for teenagers shares a common objective. The boot camp approach gives youth and their leadership a perfect setting to focus the teenagers at the boot camp on making significant improvements in their lives, physically, spiritually and mentally.

So if you have a young person at home who would benefit from a boot camp to take that next big step forward in his or her passion in life, don’t let the idea of a “boot camp” scare you away. Specialized boot camps can change your teenager’s life in just the way parents want to see the kids they love continue to grow.

Here are additional resources you might be interested in:

Achieving Your Goals When Selecting a Juvenile Boot Camp

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

Getting Your Troubled Teenager Ready for Boot Camp

A Day in the Life of a Teenager in Boot Camp