Juvenile Boot Camps in Kentucky

By Dan Ketchum
The state of Kentucky offers award-winning juvenile programs.
The state of Kentucky offers award-winning juvenile programs.

Boot camps, boarding schools and other programs for at-risk or troubled youth possess the potential to transform problematic youth into balanced, stable individuals. Programs in and around Kentucky offer various methods of juvenile assistance, from military boot camps to alternative schools. Consider all the factors, including the personal needs of your child, before enrolling any child in a juvenile boot camp.

Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice

A branch of Kentucky’s Justice and Public Safety Cabinet, this state department organizes award-winning prevention and rehabilitation programs for at-risk youth. A Juvenile Services Worker mentors each teen and places him in either in-home or out-of-home programs. The out-of-home facilities, called Youth Development Centers, offer a six-hour school day, educational alternatives (such as a GED track) and vocational opportunities. Other programs include anger management, recreation, parenting classes and independent living classes. The the centers also offer activities such as camping and sporting events. The department offers programs in Jackson, Grayson, Brandenburg, Henderson, Princeton, Mayfield, Frankfort, Richmond, Owensboro and Denniston.

Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice 1025 Capital Center Drive Frankfort, KY 40601 502-573-2738 djj.ky.gov

U.S. Army Cadet Corps

The U.S. Army Cadet Corps' Millersburg location strives to keep teens drug-free and gang-free and instill them with a sense of pride and discipline. The Corps resident schools run the course of two school years, and cadets attend during school vacations. The first resident course is a boot-camp style Basic Cadet Training program, which introduces basic military life in a physically and mentally demanding fashion. Cadets go on to Basic Leader Courses, Cadet Noncommissioned Officer Courses, Troop Handlers’ Academy and finally a Cadet Transition course. All courses seek to build physical and mental stamina, discipline and respect for authority through instruction including military history, drills, survival, first aid, administered tests, infantry courses, leadership lessons and more.

U.S. Army Cadet Corps Inc. 1122 Main St. Millersburg, KY 40348 859-484-2100 goarmycadets.com

Oakdale Christian Academy

For juveniles whose troubles are social rather than academic, boarding schools present an alternative option to boot camps. Oakdale Christian Academy in Jackson, Ky., offers rigorous educational programs focusing on Christian teachings, character development and relationship skills. A two-to-one student-teacher ratio ensures personal student support geared toward good citizenship, spirituality and the general development of teenage life. Oakdale offers college credit with certain junior and senior classes, and is accredited by the Association of Christian Schools International.

Oakdale Christian Academy 5801 Beattyville Rd. Jackson, KY 41339 606-666-5422 oakdalechristian.org

Eckerd Academy

Located in Deer Lodge, Tenn., roughly an hour from the central Kentucky border, Eckerd Academy is a licensed, accredited residential alternative school and therapeutic program. Focusing on outdoor activities, Eckerd Academy seeks to help troubled or at-risk teens through developing students’ natural strength. Programs include individual and group counseling, social and life skills training, assessment-driven academics, college and standardized test preparation and family counseling. The Deer Lodge facilities provide an outdoor residential program for boys and girls aged 10 to 18, with an average staff-to-child ratio of one-to-three as students are divided into groups of eight-to-ten youths. Both the Tennessee Department of Education and the National Association of Therapeutic Schools accredit Eckerd Academy.

Eckerd Academy 421 Catfish Farm Rd. Deer Lodge, TN 37726 931-863-5046 eckerdacademy.org

About the Author

Dan Ketchum has been a professional writer since 2003, with work appearing online and offline in Word Riot, Bazooka Magazine, Anemone Sidecar, Trails and more. Dan's diverse professional background spans from costume design and screenwriting to mixology, manual labor and video game industry publicity.