Physical Rigors of a Boot Camp

Boot camps for teens are patterned after the United States military, as such they are very physically demanding and push teens to their limits. The concept seems good at a glance but for many teens the only exercise they have had is with their thumbs playing video games. While the teen could destroy most military personnel in a virtual war, reality is a different story. For a teen that has lived a docile life style the reality of a push up at 5:00 a.m. May prove to be too much, too fast.

It is important for military boot camp style programs for troubled teens to obtain a physical evaluation prior to pushing teens so hard. For a teen that has participated in sports this will not be as much of a factor, as they have are probably a little more accustomed to pushing themselves physically. It would be a prudent practice for any troubled teen boot camp to have a physical performed by a competent medical professional on every teen prior to their engaging in the demands of the daily schedule they will begin.

Mental Strength and Will Power

Along with a physical evaluation it may be a good idea to have a teen mentally evaluated to determine if they have the ability to endure a rigorous daily regimen of in your face calisthenics. Some boot camp programs have onsite counselors that are ready to assist teens as they begin their new adventure. Sometimes the drill sergeants may forget that he or she is working with young adults not people who have voluntarily enrolled in the military. There have been boot camps and wilderness camps where teen have been pushed too far and eventually died in some more extreme activities.

This fact has fueled and encouraged those who think all boot camps are evil and should be done away with. The death of a teen is tragic in any setting, but a couple of factors should be considered. First teens have died during football practice at normal high schools due to being pushed too hard. Second the teen may have ended up dead on the street during a drug deal had they not been placed in the boot camp. Neither of these alter the fact a teen has died in the program, but they may help put things in perspective. It is extremely important the regular high schools and boot camps for troubled teens monitor the health of the children in their care.

Will My Teen Survive Boot Camp?

As a parent it may be a hard decision to send your troubled teen to a boot camp. Keep in mind that boot camp styles range from program to program. The boot camps we work will only push the teen to the limits that they feel are safe and appropriate. They will not leave them laying in the dirt over night. If you teen has physical limitations like asthma, be sure to talk to the director of the boot camp so they know how to help your child. One reason teen boot camps are successful is due to the fact that the teen stays at the boot camp over a long period of time. Some parents think a weekend will change their teen for good. This is not the case. The longer the length of stay, the higher the success rate. Also, younger teens usually see the errors of their way and are most likely take away a positive attitude upon returing home.


In conclusion as with any program including high school sports, parents need to be involved. Prior to placing a teen in any type of program the parent should visit the facility to assure things are as they expect. Staff and students should be interviewed to gain an overall perspective of the program in action. Parents should feel comfortable with those that will be dealing with their child. This should include those preparing the food, the educators, and most importantly those who will be administering any type of discipline to their child.