Juvenile Boot Camps in Canada

By Rachel McGinnis
Canadian boot camps are monitored by the Canadian government.
Canadian boot camps are monitored by the Canadian government.

When all other means of preventing self-destructive behavior are exhausted, some parents of troubled teens turn to boot camps as a means of rehabilitation. The Canadian government takes an active role in regulating boot camps in the country. Along with drill sergeants, these boot camps typically include educators, psychologists, drug counselors and vocational trainers. They seek not only to reform problem behavior, but to allow teens to escape harmful environments, develop self-worth and confidence, and learn mutual respect.

Venture Academy

Venture Academy is a residential treatment program for troubled teens. It has locations in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario and offers an extensive range of services. It offers crisis admission for teens who display out-of-control behavior or are a danger to themselves or others. The camp does a clinical assessment to get to the root of the teen’s problem and correct his behavior effectively.

While attending, teens continue their education. They can stay from 30 days to much longer. Workshops are available to parents, and Venture Academy helps reintegrate the teen into the family. If needed, follow-ups are made after reintegration.

Venture Academy 101-1865 Dilworth Drive, Suite 338 Kelowna, British Columbia Canada V1Y 9T1 866-762-2211 ventureacademy.ca

Pinehurst School

Pinehurst School in Ontario is a boarding school for special-needs students and troubled teens. Pinehurst has small classes, typically 10 students or fewer. This school is designed for adolescents who exhibit low motivation, attention deficit disorder, passive-aggressiveness, oppositional defiance disorder and other mild to moderate behavioral and learning difficulties.

Facilities include science and computer laboratories, an indoor gymnasium, an auditorium, a cafeteria and several sports fields. Pinehurst offers a challenging outdoor adventure program that includes skiing, camping, canoeing, hiking and kayaking. It is authorized to grant credits toward the Ontario Secondary School Diploma.

Pinehurst School 10 Seymour Ave. St. Catharines, Ontario Canada L2P 1A4 905-641-0993 pinehurst.on.ca

CanAdventure Education

Instead of choosing a boot camp, some parents select a therapeutic wilderness adventure camp for their troubled teen. CanAdventure Education, one of these programs, is on 40 private acres in Sayward, British Columbia. It offers teens an opportunity to escape their negative environments and influences and to start fresh. The goal is to teach teens to rely on themselves.

CanAdventure provides therapeutic focus sessions on family issues, anger management, drug and alcohol abuse, physical and sexual abuse and suicide and self-harm.

Two camp programs are offered. The Struggling Teen Journey Camp helps teens change their lives and develop strategies and ways of thinking that help those changes last. The Leaders in Training Program develops outdoor leadership skills and offers formal training, mentoring and hands-on experience. Counselors are master's-level registered clinical counselors. CanAdventure guarantees a 1-to-2 instructor to teen ratio. Groups are never bigger than six participants. Teen participants and their families also receive a year of aftercare.

CanAdventure Education Site 10, Box 2, Compartment 5 RR1 Sayward, British Columbia Canada V0P 1R0 877-544-2267 canadventure.ca

About the Author

Rachel McGinnis has a degree in English and a concentration in creative writing from Bucknell University. She is currently working as a freelance writer for a number of online magazines, as well as composing her first novel.