Why A Winter Camp May Help Your Troubled Teen

The holidays can be an especially hard time for those dealing with depression. With teens, it can mean a considerable “shake up” in the normal routine with lack of school, more time at home with large amounts of family and dangerous social situations.

Winter breaks tend to have more frequent social gatherings among teens, which often include underage drinking or substance abuse. If your teen is already heading down a path you are uncomfortable with, you may want to consider a teen wilderness program that runs over the holidays in order to derail your child’s bad behavior, and get them back on track.

They are perfectly safe. Although it may seem like a bad idea to send your child off to the outdoors during the colder months, specialized winter camps are more than prepared to help your child survive and thrive. They can teach basic skills such as the importance of hydration, layering clothes and eating high energy foods that help to keep them warm and cozy. Each camp should also come staffed with a person trained in treating winter specific medical problems. This, combined with the correct winter shelter gear such as insulated tents and portable heating stoves will help your teen stay perfectly warm and safe in the colder months.

They can spur maturity. When a troubled teen is faced with a problem, particularly a mental one, they may feel the need to run away or shut down in an effort to escape the discomfort of the situation. With a wilderness camp, real-life survival problems arise that allow your teen to step up and start solving through proper training. With the right guidance, they will become more confident in their decision, and as each task becomes more challenging, their self-esteem will surely grow with each problem solved.

They can make your teen appreciate being home. The old saying “absence makes the heart grow fonder” is particularly applicable here. Having to miss family gatherings or holidays may be hard on the heart for both you and your teen, but while they are off learning valuable skills and getting much-needed therapy with peers, they are also welcoming a growing appreciation for home.

It’s not all survival games. Wilderness programs aimed at troubled teens not only focus on the great outdoors and natural exercise but valuable therapy as well. Licensed counselors are trained to help your teen learn how to communicate about whatever issue they are stuggling with, and help them pinpoint a possible solution. They can then take these skills back to their everyday lives with them after the camp has let out.

If you can’t bear the thought of sending your teen away for a holiday season, you may want to consider a teen summer camp in the warmer months. It will offer a lot of the same types of therapy and activities, without the colder weather or absence from holiday events. If the problem persists even after these limited camps, you may want to consider a year-round troubled teen boarding school.