Summertime Boot Camps in Minnesota for Teens

By Melissa Blevins
The highly structured environment of boot camp can be an effective method of treatment for your teen.
The highly structured environment of boot camp can be an effective method of treatment for your teen.

If you feel your teen needs direction and discipline in his life, sending him to boot camp in Minnesota can be one option. Because of the heavily regimented approach that is characteristic of boot camps, the decision to send your teen to one should not be made lightly. Sitting down with a trained professional to determine the best summertime boot camp for your teen is a good start, as you and and an expert can take into account your teen's personality and interests and search for a boot camp that would benefit him most.

Types of Boot Camps

While the phrase "boot camp" may conjure up certain images in people's minds, the exact definition varies from camp to camp, with a common underlying theme being working to improve in a specific area of life. Your teen may display behavioral issues, in which case sending her to a therapeutic or military-style boot camp can be a good fit. However, if you feel your teen needs improvement in a non-behavioral area, sending her to a summer boot camp that specializes in academics or sports can be a great way to rapidly improve in a short-term, intense setting. Summer can be an ideal time for rehabilitation, as your teen is free from the demands of school and can focus more intently on improvement.

Wingate Wilderness Therapy

Removing your teen from the distractions of city life, such as cell phones and malls, is one component of what the staff at Wingate believe makes their program successful. They take your teen into the wilderness where she can work through her behavioral issues in a serene setting, combining therapy with physical exercise in an effort to solve her problems. Instead of using screaming and barking orders at your teen, they practice empathy as a way of learning to respect authority.


Soltreks is another summertime boot camp your teen can attend to work on his problems without normal day-to-day interruptions. The staff at Soltreks differ from other boot camps by not depriving teens of basic needs like food or water, choosing instead to heal and nurture his spirit through self-examination, learning, cooperation and contribution. They also pride themselves on being different from other wilderness programs by offering extremely small group sizes, focusing on building up rather than breaking down and tailoring lengths of stays according to your teen's needs and problems.

Thistledew Programs

Operating in conjunction with the Minnesota Department of Corrections, Thistledew Programs is geared toward adjudicated and at-risk teens. Four different programs are offered based on your teen's problems: three-week adventure therapy program, three-month residential program, boys residential short-term and portage chemical dependency treatment of indeterminate length. Staff believe that each gender responds differently to treatment and will segregate your teen accordingly so she can most quickly and effectively rehabilitate her behavior.

About the Author

Melissa Blevins is a professional writer whose work has appeared in "Today I Found Out" and "Business Insider." Building on her J.D., she specializes in law, history, politics and business.