A wilderness program is a safe way to get troubled teens into an environment that will help them turn their lives around. Wilderness programs for troubled youth are leadership and life skills workshops for the people that are struggling at home. Youths may have a problem with their parents, or youths may have a bad set of friends that they must get away from. Bringing a young person into the wilderness with other young people allows the group to come together to face their problems. These wilderness programs teach kids how to be better people, but you must choose the safest option for your child.
#1: The Location
Children that are taken into these wilderness programs must go to a location that is as safe as possible. Going into a remote location is not helpful for children, and you must have the exact location your child will visit. A location that is very close to a hospital is helpful, and the location must be easy for you to visit when you are allowed.
#2: The Activities
The activities that the kids do must be safe in every respect. You need to know that the staff for the program is trained properly to care for your child, and you need to know that the activities are not dangerous. Kids will be asked to do many things that might frighten them, but they will not learn anything from these experiences if they are truly dangerous.
#3: The Staff
The staff of wilderness programs for troubled youth must have the proper training for such an endeavor. The counselors for the program should be able to help your child as much as they push them. These workers do not need to have an advanced degree, but they must be trained by someone who has an advanced degree. The person running the center must be a Master’s or Doctoral level counselor or psychologist. These professionals are the people who confront your child’s problems head on. A counselor is often the first person that a child will open up to, and the counselor knows what to do when the child finally starts talking.
#4: The Duration
Kids may not want to go when their journey starts, but they often do not want to go home at the end of their experience. Kids are often enrolled in these programs for one to two weeks at a time. At Teen Risk Resource Center, we recommend a long-term program in addition to these shorter interventions to ensure success for your child.
These youth programs are designed to give kids the proper perspective on their problems, their friends, and their family life. They get an opportunity to work with other kids who have the same problems. These kids come together to change each other’s lives with empathy and compassion. The staff challenges the kids to make life changes, and the kids are kept in a safe environment that gives them some distance from their family.