Three Reasons to Consider a Wilderness Program for Troubled Boys

Written by Online education resources

Is a wilderness boarding school right for your son? There are many different types of programs for troubled youth; however a wilderness boarding school might be the type of program you’re searching for. At first glance, a wilderness program resembles other types of programs: residential treatment centers, therapeutic boarding schools, and Outward Bound. These programs certainly have their benefits, and, more specifically, benefit specific personalities, but are comparatively limited compared to wilderness programs.

Here’s a look at the top three reasons why a wilderness program might be the perfect fit for your son.


It’s not a live-in health care facility. Residential treatment center programs or therapeutic boarding schools for boys, in which teens are sent to live-in health care facilities, focus more on drug detoxification and mental health problems than on behavioral therapy and modification. As a result, these programs are more clinical, and tend to leave underlying problems—such as neglectful home environments, or improper ways of coping with anger or grief, or self-esteem deficits—ignored or unattended.


However, a wilderness program such as Wood Creek Academy offers aid for youth struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. The school has a Licensed Addiction Counselor on staff who visits the school once a week, and, with parental consent, we permit teens who are assessed with an addiction to attend weekly AA meetings. The program offers its own version of the 12-step program, and teaches teens about respect, personal responsibility, and communication—values difficult to instill in residential treatment centers or therapeutic boarding schools.


It’s more than an outward bound program.


Outward Bound programs, which organize emotional growth experiences around group outdoor-education activities, might not offer anything beyond outdoor experiences. However, a wilderness program for troubled boys has the best of both worlds. For example, Wood Creek Academy sits on 60 acres of gorgeous ranchland adjoining the Kootenai and Lolo National Forests, provides teens with plenty of opportunity for outdoor activity: boys spend a minimum of 3 hours each day outdoors, and play football, softball, volleyball, and engage in numerous hikes around the property. However, students also get classroom instruction. In the classroom, which is year-round, teens are taught by accredited teachers with over 35 years of public school teaching experience between them. Academics are tailored so that each student achieves their educational goals.


It’s not a typical boot camp for teens.


Lastly, a wilderness program for troubled youth differs greatly from boot camps for teenagers, which emphasize punishment over discipline, and do not properly prepare teens for positive and healthy interactions in the outside world. Such programs neither respect nor educate youth.


When you select the right wilderness therapy program, you can provide your child with the best possible one-on-one care, emotional and behavioral counseling, and academic education.


Wood Creek Academy is a licensed therapeutic boarding school and wilderness therapy program for young men ages 13 to 18. Visit the website to learn more about their unique programs for troubled youth.