15 Best BootCamps For Troubled Teens: The Better Alternative to Summer Boot Camps

Bootcamp for teens are designed to assist teenagers with behavioral issues at school or home. These camps often emphasize military-style chores and training to address behavioral issues.

Because most residential bootcamp for troubled teens have broadened to focus on long-term therapeutic solutions, there aren’t many true bootcamp options.

What Are the Advantages of Bootcamp for Troubled Teens?

Bootcamp for troubled teens may promise to benefit participants in various ways. This may include increased fitness, a greater sense of self-worth, and the ability to “tough it out.” Boot camps can be effective change agents but rarely deliver long-term solutions. Bootcamps for troubled teens are believed to be illegal in Canada.

What are the Drawbacks of a Bootcamp for Troubled Teens?

Bootcamp programs are only successful in the context in which they are implemented. However, once the youth has left the program, they have no transferability or long-term influence.

“One of our students demonstrated his problem-solving skills by making a toilet seat out of twigs and branches,” one enthusiastic program leader explained. The instructor omitted to add that once the student returned to his regular residence, this newly acquired skill would be useless to him.

The ostensible problem-solving abilities are irrelevant to the young person’s life after the program.

How Effective Are Military Bootcamp for Teens?

Most studies on bootcamps for troubled teens that adopt a military-style approach reveal that they are ineffective. These programs emphasize punishment above discipline. Scare tactics encourage children to behave without teaching them how to behave publicly.

When someone yells in their face and threatens to make them do push-ups, kids at military-style boot camps learn to do what they’re told, but when they don’t have this in the outside world, they aren’t driven to comply. That means many will revert to their prior conduct when they return home.

Military bootcamp for teens frequently fail to teach new skills. Children who get into trouble cannot make good decisions for themselves.

They must learn to set goals, deal with peer pressure, and solve difficulties. They also need to learn social skills and frequently require hobbies and interests to keep them out of trouble.

The Rise of Alternative Bootcamps for Troubled Teens

Alternative bootcamps for teens address various issues such as behavioral problems, substance abuse, low self-esteem, or academic struggles. They aim to provide a structured environment where teens can develop important life skills, build resilience, and make positive changes.

What sets these bootcamps apart is their emphasis on a therapeutic approach. They go beyond traditional disciplinary methods by focusing on understanding and addressing the underlying causes of a teen’s difficulties.

They incorporate mental health counseling, individual and group therapy sessions, and support from trained professionals.

By providing a combination of structure, therapy, and counseling, these bootcamps create a supportive environment where teens can learn coping mechanisms, develop self-awareness, and work through challenges.

The rise of alternative bootcamps for troubled teens reflects a growing recognition of the importance of holistic approaches to adolescent development, prioritizing mental health and emotional well-being alongside behavioral changes.

15 Best Bootcamp for Teens Near Me

Let’s take a quick look at the 15 Best BootCamps For Troubled Teens in 2024:

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#1. Midcourse Correction

Midcourse Correction is situated in Otisville, Michigan, and began by servicing the Juvenile Court system of Livingston County.

Since then, the camp’s reach has grown. It presently serves the Eaton and Shiawassee County Juvenile Courts and many youth ‘help programs,’ local schools, and private referrals. The camp accepts children aged 11 to 17, as well as one 18-year-old who is still in secondary school.

Apply for Midcourse Correction Here

#2. Camp Victory

Camp Victory is a military-style camp for boys aged 8 to 17 who lack confidence or have behavioral problems. It is a military-style camp that operates on a 46-hour weekend schedule. It is situated in the city of St. Lucie, Florida.

This intensive camp requires campers to perform physical activities under severe conditions. Although parents appear pleased with this camp, consulting with a therapist to ensure your child can handle the stress of an intensive camp is a good idea.

Apply for Camp Victory Here

#3. Hoosier Youth ChalleNGe Academy

The Indiana National Guard operates the Hoosier Youth ChalleNGE Academy. It is a 172-month quasi-military training program for Indiana high school students who have dropped out or been dismissed.

The program is intended to “instill confidence, foster ambition, and increase employment opportunities” for at-risk kids.

The curriculum comprises a 512-month residential period and a 12-month post-residential phase. Teens are assisted in the development of life and academic skills. Those who qualify can take the Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC).

Apply for Hoosier Youth ChalleNGe Here

#4. Mid-Florida Center for Mental Health

Never lose up on finding treatment for your problematic Avon Park, FL kid. There are strategies to reduce the stress on your family while also assisting your adolescent in developing a healthy and useful lifestyle. You have a gut feeling that the situation is critical.

It’s time to stop hoping that things will improve on their own. It’s time to take positive action and immediately get your child the required assistance.

Apply for Mid Florida Center for Mental Health today

#5. Broward Health 

Broward Health provides emergency behavioral health examinations and crisis intervention 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Their comprehensive mental health team, which includes physicians, nurses, counselors, and social workers, is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to assist each patient’s needs across various behavioral health conditions.

Click here for Broward Health.

#6. Crossroads Behavioral Health Center 

Gregory Finer, LCSW CAP, established Crossroads Behavioral Health Center in 2005. It is a full-service behavioral health organization.

Having worked as a clinical social worker for more than 25 years in the Southwest Florida region, Mr. Finer founded Crossroads as a community mental health facility where people who are struggling with mental illness, substance abuse, or other psychosocial issues can easily access treatment in a compassionate and professional setting free from stigma or shame. 

Crossroads Behavioral Health Center staff is dedicated to rebuilding lives and returning hope for children, adolescents, and adults in Southwest Florida who are dealing with mental illness and substance misuse. 

Apply for Crossroads Behavioral Health Center

#7. SalusCare  

After Lee Mental Health and Southwest Florida Addiction Services (SWFAS) merged in 2013, SalusCare was established as Southwest Florida’s most complete behavioral healthcare provider.

More than 350 professionals are employed by SalusCare today, which operates out of several locations in Lee County and offers outpatient psychiatry and therapy, residential programs, recovery residences, emergency/crisis services, detox, and community-based services to close to 16,000 adults and children.

No one will ever be excluded from services because they can’t afford them. Many services have sliding-scale fees based on family size and income. Additionally, SalusCare is a proud National Health Service Corps location. For our guarantee to you as our patient, click HERE.

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The Central Florida Behavioral Health Network, Inc. holds a license and receives funding from the Florida Department of Children and Families on behalf of SalusCare. An independent, non-profit organization that accredits health and human services, CARF International, has certified all of SalusCare’s substance abuse programs and most of its mental health programs.

Join SalusCare Here

#8. Suncoast Behavioral Health Center 

Suncoast Behavioral Health Center is a private acute hospital and treatment facility created to offer children and adolescents high-quality services in a healing environment.

Take Your Child to Suncoast Behavioral Health Center 

#9. David Lawrence Center for Behavioural Health

DLC operates six unique Centers of Excellence to provide healthcare to the local population. In order to provide care and support to each person in a way that is focused on the complete person, DLC can adjust our education, preventive, intervention, and treatment protocols according to these complimentary areas of concentration.

Click here to join David Lawrence Center for Behavioural Health.

#10. Camp Wabikon

Camp Wabikon has been offering youngsters worldwide a top-notch summer bootcamp for teens experience on a stunning island for over 75 years. Their vibrant Staff team runs a secure, enjoyable, and instructive program.

With a cap of 150 students, everyone at Wabikon feels like a family member. For local references, get in touch and spend a memorable summer bootcamp with them.

Join Camp Wabikon here.

#11. Outward Bound Canada

The Outward Bound Teenagers in Canada are inspired by their difficult outdoor activities. On one of our outdoor adventures, participants will get to know nature, learn lifelong skills, and realize their full potential.

We provide day programs in Toronto, backpacking in the Rockies, canoeing in the wilds of Ontario, and kayaking on the West Coast. We provide high school credit choices, scholarships, and bursaries.

Join Outward Bound Canada here.

#12. Bayview Glen Camp

Summertime fun at Bayview Glen Camp for more than 60 years! They have air-conditioned structures, walking paths, art studios, gyms, and sports fields. Sports, the arts, outdoor activities, technology, and choice electives are all included in each day’s schedule for older campers.

Fees include a premium camp backpack, lunch, and a snack. They provide depot busing with pick-up locations throughout the GTA and inclusion programs for campers who need extra help.

Enroll to be a part of the Bayview Glen Camp Here.

#13. Camp Oconto

A classic girls’ overnight camp, Camp Oconto was established in 1924 and is situated on the picturesque Eagle Lake shoreline north of Kingston, Ontario.

Campers may express themselves, acquire self-confidence, learn new skills, and develop enduring connections in a safe setting like Oconto. On 80 acres of land and 2 kilometers of shoreline, more than 20 activities are available. Ages range from 4 to 16 for campers.

Click here to join Camp Oconto.

#14. Steamoji

A STEM/STEAM maker academy for children called Steamoji educates future entrepreneurs, makers, makers, and builders.

They think equipping our kids with the fundamental knowledge, attitudes, and abilities necessary to create solutions to the challenges they will face is the greatest way to prepare them for a rapidly changing world.

Click here to join Steamoji today.

#15. Forest Hill Taekwondo

Programs are available for students at Forest Hill Taekwondo to develop and support their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Our highly qualified educators are always looking for methods to strengthen and expand our ties to the community.

We work to give our families, children, and community access to a safe, inclusive space through after-school programs and school partnerships.

Click here to join Forest Hill Taekwondo here.

Criteria for Selecting the Best Bootcamps for Troubled Teens

When it comes to selecting the best bootcamps for troubled teens, it’s essential to consider several key criteria. Here are some important factors to keep in mind:

  • Accreditation and certifications
  • Qualified and experienced staff
  • Evidence-based treatment methods
  • Individualized treatment plans
  • Relapse prevention strategies
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A. Accreditation and certifications: Look for bootcamps that are accredited and hold relevant certifications. This ensures that they meet certain quality standards and adhere to industry guidelines.

B. Qualified and experienced staff: Ensure that the bootcamp has a team of qualified and experienced professionals, including licensed therapists, counselors, and educators who specialize in working with troubled teens.

C. Evidence-based treatment methods: Seek bootcamps that utilize evidence-based treatment approaches. These methods have been scientifically validated and proven effective in addressing troubled teens’ specific challenges.

D. Individualized treatment plans: Each teen is unique, so the bootcamp must offer individualized treatment plans tailored to each participant’s specific needs. Personalized plans can better address underlying issues and provide a more effective path to recovery.

E. Relapse prevention strategies: Recovery is an ongoing process, and relapse prevention is crucial. Look for bootcamps incorporating relapse prevention strategies, such as teaching coping skills, providing ongoing support, and involving families in treatment.

Considering these criteria, you can make an informed decision and select a bootcamp that provides a safe, supportive, and effective environment for troubled teens to heal, grow, and make positive changes.

Worries About Bootcamp for Troubled Teens

According to the United States Government Accountability Office, boot camp programs and other residential treatment options for disturbed youth raise severe issues. As a result, actual boot camp programs are becoming less prevalent than in the past. Allegations of mistreatment and even death have been brought to the attention of state agencies and HHS.


How old do you have to be to go to bootcamp?

Although not everyone may attend boot camp, the qualifications are not very demanding. The U.S. Army specifies that applicants must be between 17 and 35 and have documentation of their citizenship or legal status as permanent residents with a Green Card.

Why do kids go to bootcamp?

Through structure, boot camps aim to instill discipline. Many parents think giving their children a stronger hand will help them grow. They believe their “too soft” approach to discipline has resulted in troublesome behaviors.

Why are the teenage years so difficult?

The teenage years are challenging for your child due to hormone surges, physical changes, a search for identity, peer pressure, and a growing sense of independence. It may imply that they become distant, for instance. Wish to spend more time socializing or alone.

Why is 15 the hardest age?

For most kids, fifteen is an extremely challenging age, emotionally and socially. Peer pressure is a major problem because friendships have a propensity to become all-consuming. Your fifteen-year-old may be discussing a lot of touchy subjects with their pals, including sex, drugs, and alcohol.

Why is my 14-year-old daughter so angry?

Adolescence is normal; anger can be a healthy emotional reaction to external circumstances. Anger is a secondary emotion for teenagers since it frequently hides underlying problems like grief, hurt, fear, and embarrassment. Teenagers frequently lash out in response to these underlying feelings becoming too intense.


That concludes our exploration of the 15 best bootcamps for troubled teens, a better alternative to traditional summer boot camps. These bootcamps offer a compassionate and effective approach to helping troubled teens overcome challenges and achieve positive growth.

By prioritizing factors such as Accreditation, qualified staff, evidence-based treatment methods, individualized plans, and relapse prevention strategies, these bootcamps create a supportive and therapeutic environment for teens to heal and thrive.

These bootcamps go beyond disciplinary measures by focusing on understanding and addressing the underlying issues contributing to a teen’s struggles. They provide professional counseling, therapy, and personalized treatment plans that cater to the unique needs of each teen.

By choosing one of these top bootcamps, you can feel confident in the quality of care and support your teen will receive. They offer a holistic approach that fosters emotional well-being, personal development, and long-term success.

I hope this information helps you find the best bootcamp for your troubled teen. Remember, you’re not alone in this journey, and resources are available to support your teen’s growth and well-being.

If you have any more questions or need further assistance, feel free to ask. Best of luck in finding the right bootcamp for your teen’s needs!


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