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Military Schools &#; Boot Camps For Boys

Parents struggling with a troubled teenage boy may feel they are out of options. When dealing with an out-of-control youth, they may decide that their son needs to go to either a military schools or boot camps for teens to help them move back on track.

Hollywood portrayals of these two environments have skewed reality. In the interest of helping parents fully understand their options, we will cover just what military school and boot camp are and what parents can expect if they send their son to one of these establishments.

Disclaimer: While we will be covering both military schools and boot camps, Sundance Canyon Academy does not recommend these resources for troubled teens who need therapy. We advocate therapeutic boarding schools and residential treatment centers in the cases where boys need intensive therapeutic help.

What Is Military School?

Military schools are private academies which focus on military-based discipline and structure to produce results. Most of these schools are not co-ed and only accept male students. Many attendees do go on to military service, with several elite military schools allowed to propose candidates for military colleges, such as West Point.

The majority of these schools are boarding schools, which can become expensive when the cost of tuition, room, and board are all totaled. Payment is required before your son attends, and there is no reimbursement if he expelled from the school.

Military schools focus on several points:

  • Academic achievement
  • Structure and discipline
  • Patriotism
  • Leadership

This can sounds ideal for parents who want all these things for their troubled teenage son. However, it is not that simple.

Military Schools & Boot Camps For Boys


Does My Child Need to Attend a Military School?

A military school can be a great option if the parent and student are interested in discipline, structure, intense academic training and military service. These schools are not for students struggling with behavioral, emotional or academic issues. The focus of these schools is not to reform struggling youth. 

Parents can choose to send their children to military schools, but they should be aware of the needs of their child before doing so. Parents of troubled teens or struggling youth should instead look into alternative schools, including boarding schools for troubled teens and residential treatment centers. These facilities have staff and programming in place to help your child.

Circumstances In Which Military School Is Not A Good Option For Your Teen

Admission to military schools is difficult, as these programs are very selective about who they admit into their programs. While a few of the 66 military schools in the U.S. accept troubled teens, most do not. Many of these schools make it clear that their mission does not include problematic teens. Your son will not be admitted into military school if he needs these things:

  • Therapy &#; While it is likely they have counseling staff to care for the day-to-day needs of students, military schools do not have the staff to deal with long-term behavioral modification cases or other disorders.
  • Rehabilitation &#; Military schools do not have substance abuse experts as part of their staff. As their programs are demanding both academically and physically, they expect their students to enter their schooling ready to immerse themselves.These schools also do not work with criminal reformation. While a criminal record is not an automatic disqualifier, there is a high likelihood they will not accept a boy who has committed a violent crime. Military schools prioritize the protection of their students and do not have staff trained to deal with violent offenders.
  • Punishment &#; Boys should not be sent to military school as a punishment. Unwilling boys may not be able to acclimate to the rigorous environment and fail out of the school. Also, military schools are not containment facilities, so if the troubled youth wants to run away, it would be more possible from a military school than a facility designed for troubled boys. Military school can be ideal for the right candidate. While they are not right for troubled boys, for the young man who wants a future career with the military and has a high drive to succeed, these private academies would be a good option.

What Is Boot Camp?

Boot camps for troubled teen boys espouse a similar packaging to military schools, but is a completely different experience. These programs have more variable lengths, anywhere from weeks to years. A fairly standard length is between 3 &#; 6 months, which make these programs cheaper than other programs for troubled boys. However, it is hard to say exactly what an average boot camp is as boot camps are wildly unregulated.

There are boot camps specifically for incarcerated juveniles, which are not open to parental enrollment. For the ones that allow parental enrollment, boot camps focus on:

  • Discipline
  • High activity
  • Behavior modification

While these points are likely to be important to a parent of a struggling teen, parents need to consider some of the potential issues with boot camps.

When Not To Choose Boot Camps

As there are few to no regulations regarding the running of boot camps for troubled teens depending on the state the camp is located, this can result in dangerous situations for the participants.

In alone, 33 states with boot camp programs reported that 1, staff members of boot camps for kids were involved in incidents of abuse. Mind, that is how many staff members were abusing children; that number does not identify how many children were abused. As the programs parents can enroll their children in are considered private organizations, it is difficult to find more concrete information.

You should NOT choose a boot camp for your struggling teen son if he has these needs:

Therapy &#; While some boot camps claim the discipline and high activity act as therapy, nothing is a substitute for therapy when the teen needs it. If your teen is struggling with a mental or mood disorder, pursue a more therapeutic environment than a boot camp.

Physical limitations &#; If your son has any physical limitation, it would be unwise to enroll them in a boot camp program for teens. These programs depend on participants following a regimented schedule involving manual labor and physical exertion. Punishments involve more physical exertion.

Academic support &#; As these programs operate on a variable schedule, but usually over the course of weeks, there is no academic component to boot camps.

Rehabilitation &#;For teens who have committed crimes, boot camps do not ensure lower recidivism. Male participants in boot camps experienced a recidivism rate of %. Boot camps for kids force a short-term change in their program participants, but do not address the issues which led to the negative behaviors.

As there is no clear way to identify which boot camps are free from abuse, we cannot recommend boot camps as an option for a troubled teen.

Military Schools & Boot Camps For Boys


What Boot and Military Camp Alternatives Are There for Troubles Teens?

The two main alternatives to boot camp and military camp for boys are residential treatment centers and boarding schools for troubled teens. Both programs address the root causes of emotional and behavioral issues through academics, recreational activities and therapy with licensed individuals. Alternatively, boot camps and military camps focus on discipline, academic rigor and military service.

Neither military schools or boot camps for kids are suited to help a troubled teen heal. Struggling youth need to attend a program where they can get the help they need. We do not recommend military camps or boot camps for teens who need therapy, academic support or rehabilitation. However, there is another option.

By choosing a residential treatment center or therapeutic boarding school for your teen, you will be able to place your son in expert hands. At Sundance Canyon Academy, a troubled teen will receive:

  • Group and individual therapy
  • Individualized care plan
  • Continued schooling
  • Academic support
  • Experiential education opportunities

It can be difficult to send your child away, even when things become difficult. Know by choosing a therapeutic boarding school, you are choosing to help free your troubled son from a future of struggle.

Military Schools & Boot Camps For Boys

If Sundance Canyon Academy could help you and sounds like the right therapeutic boarding school for your troubled boy needs please call us at

If you have any questions please contact us or review our FAQ Page

Other Related Resources You Will Find Useful


Boot Camps &#; Military Schools in Texas

Are you the parent of a troubled teenager and seeking a residential treatment program? If so, Help Your Teen Now is an excellent resource for you to use. We&#;re a parent organization created to assist those who need more information and resources about teen help programs, and Help Your Teen Now is standing by to help you make this difficult decision. Many Texas parents begin the process by looking up military schools and boot camps in Texas, mistakenly believing that the strict nature of these programs will cause troubled teens to straighten up. However, there are many therapeutic options out there that may be better for your teenager. Help Your Teen Now will work with you to match the right program with your teenager&#;s specific emotional, behavioral or mental health needs.

Our resources, experience and expertise are designed to help parents who have nowhere to turn for unbiased and really honest information about all the different teen help programs out there. Help Your Teen Now has lots of information gathered from parents and teens across the country. The information we have is available to any Texas parents seeking advice and guidance on teen therapy programs. Don’t send your teen to the first Texas military school or boot camp you find, because there are a range of therapeutic options out there.

Help Your Teen Now provides free consultations for parents when you call To learn if a military school for troubled teens is the best program for your teen read more. We will give you information that is valuable in deciding what it will take to best help your at-risk teen.

Military Schools and Boot Camps Aren’t the Best Option for Troubled Teens Says Help Your Teen Now

There are a number of teen help programs out there, and some are better than others when it comes to healing troubled teens. Short-term options include wilderness camps, boot camps and some residential treatment centers. Long-term programs include residential treatment centers and therapeutic boarding schools. Military schools aren&#;t really considered teen therapy programs because they lack an intensive therapeutic component and really just prepare teens for a military career. Programs that truly provide long-term results for teens dealing with emotional, behavioral or mental health issues have high success rates and a focus on healing and hope. Help Your Teen Now would be happy to introduce you to a number of therapeutic boarding schools that will best meet your teenager&#;s needs and put a stop to the bad behavior.

Military Schools and Boot Camps in Texas State

Therapeutic Boarding School
Therapeutic Boarding School

Texas Regulatory Laws For Boot Camps & Military Schools

All facilities that house children are regulated and licensed by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. This department sets the standards for all state licensed programs in the teen help industry in Texas.

A private Texas school is not required to be accredited or licensed. Teachers at private schools do not need certification unless the facility is accredited voluntarily. All students must submit immunization records to attend a Texas private school (Tex. Education Code §). Every employee of Texas private schools must have a criminal history check performed (Tex.Education Code Ann. §).

(U.S. Department of Education, State Regulation of Private Schools, )


Statistics for Texas Troubled Teens



Texas children between ages diagnosed each year with ADD/ADHD: 9% (CDC: “Trends in the Parent-Report of Health Care Provider-Diagnosed and Medicated ADHD: United States, )



According to a report from the CDC, there were 30, babies born to women under the age of (Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Study)



National suicide ranking: 40th. Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for individuals between (Suicide and Crisis Center of North Texas, ).



27% of Texas teens report regular abuse of alcohol and 12% binge drink. 34% admit using marijuana one or more times, and % abuse cocaine and abuse prescription meds. (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, ).


In , the Office of Juvenile Justice and Deliquency Prevention reported 60 teen arrests for aggravated assault, 49 arrests for robbery, arrests for larceny, arrests for drug abuse and 28 arrests for weapons violations. (Office of Juvenile Justice and Deliquency Prevention, )



For the school year, Texas reported an 89% high school graduation rate. (U.S. Department of Education, Graduation Rates)


Let HelpYourTeenNow Help You Find the Best Texas School For Your Teen

Often, teenagers deal with issues like anxiety, depression, bipolar, ADHD, abuse trauma, aggression, oppositional defiant disorder, substance abuse, hostility and violence, low self-esteem and unmanageable behavior. Proper military schools won&#;t put up with that kind of behavior, but therapeutic boarding schools employ licensed and experienced guides, therapists, counselors, mentors and teachers to work with the troubled teens and inspire them to change. When you know your teenager needs outside help and needs it fast, consider working with Help your Teen Now to identify a facility that may be just what your teenager needs.

Turn to Help Your Teen Now for some real resources from a non-biased source. You&#;ve waited a long time to get help for your teen, so find a facility that offers the best chance of providing positivelong-term effects for at-risk teens. Call us at for a free consultation.

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Boarding School States

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Los Angeles CA, Chicago IL, Washington DC San Francisco, Philidelphia PA, Boston MA Detroit MI, Dallas TX, Houston TX, Atlanta GA Miami FL, Seattle WA, Phoenix AZ, Minneapolis MN, Cleveland OH, San Diego CA, St Louis MO, Denver CO, Tampa FL, Pittsburgh PA, Portland OR, Sacramento CA, Kansas City MO, Milwaukee WI, Orlando FL, Indianapolis IN, San Antonio TX, Norfolk VA, Las Vegas NV, Columbus OH, Charlotte NC, New Orleans



W  E  L  C  O  M  E     T  O    A

New Start

At Resolution Ranch Academy, we help troubled teens journey back to their true selves and look ahead to a brighter future. Located on a beautiful, rustic Texas ranch, we are a small therapeutic boarding school dedicated to inspiring growth and gratitude through family values, personal responsibility, and academic support.

Start the Conversation


W  E  L  C  O  M  E     T  O    A

New Start

At Resolution Ranch Academy, we help troubled teens journey back to their true selves and look ahead to a brighter future. Located on a beautiful, rustic Texas ranch, we are a small therapeutic boarding school dedicated to inspiring growth and gratitude through family values, personal responsibility, and academic support.

Start the Conversation







Our treatment program is geared specifically towards troubled teens. We offer therapeutic help for a variety of issues including depression, out-of-control teen behavior or possible drug addiction. We believe our program is a better alternative to boot camps for teens.








Our treatment program is geared specifically towards troubled teens. We offer therapeutic help for a variety of issues including depression, out-of-control teen behavior or possible drug addiction. We believe our program is a better alternative to boot camps for teens.



Our therapeutic boarding school offers a nurturing environment where teenage boys can find unconditional support, and guidance. If your child is suffering from behavior issues, depression or is making choices that cause harm to himself or others, we are here to help. Since , we have helped many teenagers suffering from a variety of diagnoses including: 

  • Depression

  • Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD)

  • Alcohol and possible drug addiction

We also help behavioral issues such as:

  • Entitlement issues

  • Lack of respect

  • Hostility towards family

  • Skipping school

  • Irresponsibility

  • Lack of motivation

  • Low self-esteem

  • Becoming withdrawn

  • Falling with the wrong crowd

  • Unmanageable behavior

  • Living outside family values

  • Video game addiction

Outside our Expertise:

Occasionally we find it’s in a student’s best interest to seek help elsewhere. This includes students who are:

  • Causing life threatening violence

  • Actively suicidal

  • Harming animals

  • Diagnosed with conduct disorders

  • Committing arson

  • Severe Aggression



We combine Equine Therapy, Clinical Therapy and Academics in five levels of achievement with a goal of initiating personal growth in a boarding school setting.


We combine Equine Therapy, Clinical Therapy and Academics in five levels of achievement with a goal of initiating personal growth in a boarding school setting.

Our philosophy is based on a commitment to personal growth through the teaching of values, responsibility, and respect. We employ this philosophy in every aspect of our program, which combines Equine Therapy, Clinical Therapy, and Academics in a boarding school setting. As boys progress through the program, they make their way through the five levels of growth that make up the R.A.N.C.H. system: Recovery and Academics through Nature, Counseling and Healing.



LEVEL 1: ranch hands

This introduction period focuses on respect, communication and expectations; students learn about the program while therapists learn about the students.


LEVEL 2: cattle men

Students and therapists identify the issues they’d like to work on and establish goals during this time focused on discovery and new beginnings.



LEVEL 3: ropers

Students in level three—which is considered a turning point for deeper therapy, change, and humility— have demonstrated an ability to make wise decisions and are expected to utilize skills like leadership and anger management.


LEVEL 4: Wranglers

During this time, students focus on relationships and making amends, while a proven willingness to grow and help others often leads to an increase in independence and confidence.


LEVEL 5: Cowboys

The last level of our program is a period of reflection and affirmation; students reexamine their journey and develop a plan to continue their commitment to a better future.


Level work is the foundation of our program. It consists of written assignments each student works on three times per week, designed to foster self-reflection and accountability. To move up a level, a student must first take initiative, decide he’s ready, and obtain approval signatures from staff. Your child will then receive feedback from his community of peers and be voted up. Residents must progress through all levels in order to graduate our program.


While not all students come to Resolution Ranch for drug addiction, we incorporate a refined Step Program into most treatments because of the program’s success in improving self-awareness, building a solid foundation for betterment, and furthering students’ sense of purpose.

Students are required to attend a specific number of AA/NA meetings per week; those who have no reported drug addiction or substance abuse problems attend Productive Choices meetings, where the 12 Steps are tailored to address their specific challenges.

In congruence with NA, we reference God as a label for each person’s personal spiritual Higher Power. Though we employ Christian principles, Resolution Ranch is tolerant of all religious and spiritual beliefs and will make every attempt to accommodate appropriate needs.


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A Day at the Ranch

Scroll down to see what it’s like to be a student at the ranch. Our program is flexible, so it often varies slightly for each student. The following is a glance at some of the key components of our program, and what a typical day is like from start to finish.

A Day at the Ranch

Scroll down to see what it’s like to be a student at the ranch. Our program is flexible, so it often varies slightly for each student. The following is a glance at some of the key components of our program, and what a typical day is like from start to finish.

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Personal Training

AM Start

Personal Training

AM Start

Daily exercise provides structure and keeps students motivated by helping them set personal health goals. During the week small group sessions are held on Wednesday afternoon in our on-campus Strength and Conditioning center.

“We build relationships and a strong community through a little sweat while supporting each other.” Neal Staab,        Licensed Instructor


After working out, students return to their dorm to shower, get dressed, and make their way to breakfast. More than a meal, breakfast nurtures students’ sense of responsibility. They’re trusted with roles such as serving food in a timely manner and making sure the dishes and the kitchen are cleaned up.


Daily chores help students work on their time management skills and instill a sense of responsibility. Students are in charge of washing and hanging their own laundry; other projects, like building a fence, helping out in the kitchen, or lending a hand for repairs, are assigned based on a student’s interest. Showing initiative is key.

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Academics are customized to each student’s strengths and needs. Our classrooms are set up to limit distractions, with resources like tutoring, ACT and SAT prep readily available. 

“We set these guys up the best we can so they can go straight on to the next level, whether that next level is back into high school or straight into college.”
Eric Benson, Director of Education.


Equine Therapy

PM Start

Equine Therapy

PM Start

By working directly with horses and being responsible for their care, students learn about the importance of communication, authenticity, and safety through Equine Therapy.

“The horse reflects the behavior of the person interacting with it. It’s very telling. The horse depends on being able to read you, where you are, what’s going on, what your intentions are.” 
-David Stubbs, Equine Director

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Students engage in various forms of therapy throughout the week. This includes individual therapy with one of our licensed clinical therapists, group therapy with 7 to 8 individuals in the community, and family therapy sessions that include parents and siblings. Resolution Ranch therapists specialize in Behavior Modification Therapy and work closely with troubled teens to identify core issues, their roots, and treatment.

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Group Activities

PM Start

Group Activities

PM Start

Working with others is an essential part of life at Resolution Ranch. Group activities can range from athletics, such as playing football with our Founder, former NFL player Scott McGarrahan, to art classes taught by visiting artists.

“Sometimes each individual can’t solve every problem. But there’s not much we can’t get done, whatever comes up, together.”

— Scott McGarrahan, Founder

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As the day winds to a close, the quiet time after dinner is perfect for reflection. Many students choose to work on their journaling in the evenings, while others come together in groups to discuss their progress. NA meetings, for students dealing with substance abuse, are held during this time, as are Productive Choices meetings. An optional spiritual development class is available to students as well.


School boot camp boarding

Boot Camps for Girls

Should you need help finding affordable boarding schools, Christian rehabs, behavioral boarding schools or teen boarding schools, please let us know. The best therapeutic schools and behavior modification programs providing treatment for troubled teens are listed here. This directory includes the best therapeutic boarding schools, best residential treatment programs for teens, best wilderness programs, outdoor therapeutic and adventure therapy programs, and other behavioral health programs working with troubled teens. Boarding Schools that are Emotional Growth Schools and Therapeutic Boarding Schools provide therapy for at-risk teenage boys and girls. If you are searching for troubled youth homes, summer camps for troubled teens, troubled teen schools, or troubled teen therapy boarding schools, you have found a list of them. Homes for troubled teens and boarding schools for teens don’t typically offer teen counseling and therapy, but these programs do.

Boot Camps for Girls - Are Girl's Boot Camps the Right Choice?

Boot camps can be a way to get yoriu girl back on track, but take care not to put an emotionally or psychologically unstable girl in a boot camp
LAPD's Boot Camp for Troubled Teens

Boot Camps &#; Military Schools in New York

When your teenager suffers from emotional, behavioral or mental health issues, it can lead them to lots of problems at school and home and with friends and family. Sometimes, no amount of love or discipline can help a troubled teen in New York with deep issues, and it&#;s time to turn to the professionals. Many New York parents think that boot camps and military schools in New York are the only option, but there is a lot more information out there on different programs. If you are considering outside options for your out of control teen, there is a parent advocate group called Help Your Teen Now that can help. We have worked with hundreds of parents just like you and provided them with the information and resources they need in order to make a confident decision on a military school for troubled teens.

Getting professional help for your troubled teen can be a frustrating process, with many well-meaning people advising you to place your child in military school and boot camp in New York in in order to correct their behavior. However, there are many factors to consider before you select a facility and it is important for you to be aware of the differences and requirements in all the different teen help programs out there. Help Your Teen Now, which was started by a woman who had troubled teens of her own, understands that you are new to all of this and you don&#;t want to make a mistake in choosing the right treatment option.

Help Your Teen Now is standing by to help you out. Please call us today at for a free consultation and assessment. We&#;d be happy to talk to you about options for your troubled teenager.

Help Your Teen Now Recommends Something Besides Boot Camps and Military Schools in New York for Troubled Teens

When teenagers are faced with any number of emotional, behavioral or mental health issues, many people mistakenly believe that with tougher discipline, the teens will straighten out. However, these deep seated psychological issues really need to be worked out in a therapeutic situation. That&#;s why military schools and juvenile boot camps are not be the best solution for your troubled teenager, because they lack a therapeutic component. Instead, Therapeutic boarding schools and residential treatment centers are a better choice. They blend academics, therapy and recreation into one successful program that yields long-term results. Help Your Teen Now can guide you to finding the best boarding school for your teenager&#;s needs.

Boot Camps & Military Schools In The State Of New York

Adirondack Leadership Expeditions


Regulatory Laws In New York For Boot Camps & Military Schools

Accreditation and registration with the Board of Regents are both optional for nonpublic schools in New York. Although certification is not required for teachers, they must be considered “competent”. N.Y. Educ. Law § Nonpublic school curriculum must be equivalent to that of public schools, including English, Geography, U.S. History, Civics, Hygiene, Physical Training, American history, N.Y. Educ. Law § Nonpublic schools must also provide instruction discouraging the misuse of alcohol and drugs.

Nonpublic school authorities may require a urinalysis drug test for students, subject to the written consent of the parents or guardians. N.Y. Educ. Law §a. Safety and fire drills must be held a minimum of 12 times a year, utilizing different routes and exits. Failure of an administrator to comply with this requirement is a misdemeanor. N.Y. Educ. Law §

Nonpublic schools are entitled to the same health and welfare facilities provided to public schools, including dental and physician services, dental hygienist, school psychologist, nurse, social worker and speech therapist. N.Y. Educ. Law §



Let HelpYourTeenNow Help You Choose The Best School In New York State For Your Teen

When your teenager is dealing with things like anxiety, depression, bipolar, ADD/ADHD, low self-esteem, abuse trauma, substance abuse, and more, the short-term boot camps and highly academic military schools in New York simply won&#;t do much good in treating their mental health issues. Troubled teens need a long-term boarding school with an emphasis on academics and therapy. Trained therapists will get to the root of why the teens are acting out and teach them how to navigate through challenges with their unique conditions. At Help Your Teen Now, we match up troubled New York teens and parents to reputable programs such as alternative or therapeutic boarding school in New York and beyond, where students can be exposed to an academic environment and their behavior concerns are also addressed by a trained and qualified staff. We want to be there to help you find that perfect place for your teenager and give you access to all our resources in helping you make this difficult yet important decision.


Contact Help Your Teen Now at for a free consultation and we can discuss all the teen help program options that are available in New York and across the country.


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And, I could only catch myself, To see my feet near my feet, When, you crawled into the house, a beauty, In a beautiful belly. Dance. When, you crept into my palace. Crossing the threshold. I am stung, beautiful, rather, you, the queen among the snakes.

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