Your child will learn new skills as she develops her leadership and teamwork abilities.

Boot Camps for Troubled Kids in Wisconsin

by Darlene Peer

If your child is engaged in troubling behavior, including using drugs, cyberbullying, criminal activity or underage drinking, boot camps might help. Camps for troubled kids are often segregated by sex to decrease distraction. Help your child find his inner strength and develop character by removing him temporarily from the pressures of his life.

1. St. John's Northwestern Military Academy Camp for Boys

If your son is between the ages of 11 and 16, St. John's Northwestern Military Academy has one-week programs. Sessions usually run in July. Your son will experience military adventure skills training designed to help improve his leadership ability, teamwork skills, self-confidence and physical endurance. The boys-only camp is tailored to the high energy levels of boys, challenging them with rock climbing, rappelling, paintball and other sports and activities designed to keep them moving.

2. Camp Red Pine for Girls

Red Pine Camp for Girls encourages your daughter to develop athletic skills, integrity, leadership, compassion, grace and character. Girls ages 7 to 16 can spend four weeks or eight weeks at the camp. The camp strives to improve your daughter's values, working on courtesy and manners while taking her on overnight campouts, stargazing and pontoon lunches. Girls are expected to take the time to appreciate the beauty of nature while living harmoniously, courteously and responsibly in a group. If your daughter is entering the fifth grade or younger, she can join the camp's two-week introductory program. It lets her get a taste of camp life without committing to a full four-week session. If she's having fun, you have the option of extending her stay for the full four weeks.

3. Lake Valley Camp for Boys and Girls

If your child shows leadership ability, she might be referred to Lake Valley Camp by her school. The camp serves low-income and under-served kids from Milwaukee and is free. Kids ages 7 and 8 are eligible for a 10-day day camp in Tiefenthaler Park where they'll enjoy guest speakers and field trips while developing their knowledge of nature, reading and creativity. Kids ages 9 and older can attend a 12-day overnight camp and get the opportunity to return every summer until they leave high school. Camp activities include horseback riding, classes about nature, art class and sports. When your child hits her teen years, she can become a Leadership Trainee in the Leadership Training Program. This involves a 12-day camp session with an expedition, along with Saturday workshops and occasional evening activities throughout the school year. It's a way for you to keep her busy while she develops new skills.

4. Camp Highlands for Boys

Encourage your son to turn off the video game and tune into nature at Camp Highlands in Sayner. He'll enjoy, or perhaps endure, rustic conditions where he'll be living in a cabin with three or four other boys, all without window screens or running water. The camp strives to help him discover his potential and his hidden talents. He'll have the opportunity to sail, wind surf, wake board, play tennis, participate in track and field, play lacrosse and polish his musical abilities. The camp offers canoe trips at Isle Royale National Park and through the Boundary Waters of nearby Minnesota. He might also have the opportunity to go kayaking at the Apostle Islands. All campers are between the ages of 8 and 16 and are grouped in cabins by age.

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