Wilderness Programs

What is a Wilderness Program?

Wilderness programs are more specifically called Outdoor Therapy Wilderness programs, schools or camps. Which describes just about what they do. They provide therapy in a outdoor camp setting. Usually campers do a lot of walking or hiking and have evening group therapy sessions. Teens get to ‘rough it’ for a month or more. Wilderness programs are not typically accredited schools, but sometimes they can issue credit for physical education. Wilderness programs recently became popular because of the TV show Brat Camp.

Which teens are appropriate for Wilderness Programs?

Wilderness Programs are short term, typically 30-90 days. Most include therapy, so are good for the teen that needs a ‘quick fix’. A teen that is getting into mild trouble at school or has just started talking negatively could benefit from a wilderness program.

Which teens are NOT appropriate for Wilderness Programs?

Wilderness programs are not appropriate for teens who need long term help. This would include teens who have been abusing drugs or alcohol, getting into a lot of trouble at school, or have other emotional or behavioral problems. Teens who have been to other ‘quick fix’ type programs and have returned to the old behaviors need more long term help.

Why are Wilderness Programs not appropriate for Behavior Modification?

Because Wilderness Programs are short term, they do not give the teen enough time to make any lasting changes. Although most wilderness programs include therapy, they are not able to spend the time working with the teens to delve deep into the causes of the problems of the teen who is having emotional and behavioral problems.

How much does a Wilderness Program cost?

Wilderness programs are very expensive because they include therapy and are short term. Wilderness programs feel they can charge more because they are shorter in length and parents are willing to pay more for the therapy. The costs range between $13,000 to $30,000 for the 30-90 day stay.