Boot Camps & Military Schools in South Dakota

When parents of troubled teens seek out a residential treatment program, many look for military schools and boot camps. However, these programs are just a small part of the broad spectrum of treatment programs for juveniles. HelpYourTeenNow has built up a vast network of resources on teen help facilities that we are happy to share with parents who are seeking answers. Instead of a boot camp or military school, consider alternative programs that have a long-term enrollment with professionals working with the teens and a heavily supervised atmosphere. HelpYourTeenNow is a parent advocate group that offers free consultations for parents like you who are looking seriously into a residential treatment program for their at-risk children.

Military Schools and Boot Camps Aren’t the Best Option for Troubled Teens

Military schools are academic schools that focus on college preparation and don’t deal with at-risk teens in a therapeutic manner. Boot camps are private programs often set in rugged, outdoor locations with staffers who act like drill sergeants. These highly physical, strictly structured boot camps also don’t focus on resolving the underlying issues that cause the teen’s rebellious, harmful and defiant behavior. Most experts agree that military schools and boot camps are not the best choices for at-risk teens and their parents seeking therapy.

School Name
School Style

McCrossan Boys Ranch


Outdoor Therapeutic Work Ranch

NeSoDak Bible Camp


Christian Outdoor Camp

Keystone Treatment Center


Residential Treatment Center

South Dakota Regulatory Laws

In South Dakota, residential care facilities for children and teenagers are licensed and regulated by the South Dakota Department of Social Services Child Protection Services. Each facility must meet the state standards of care, sanitation and safety.

The South Dakota Department of Education can grant accreditation to a private school as long as it meets eligibility standards set by the state (S.D. Codified Laws §13-3-47). Unlike other states, South Dakota requires private schools that are accredited to hire certified teachers (S.D. Codified Laws §13-1-12.1) and class sizes cannot be more than 22 students. Non-accredited schools are not subject to this requirement. (S.D. Codified Laws §13-27-3). The curriculum for private schools must meet state academic standards (S.D. Codified Laws §13-3-48). The state also requires private school students to take annual national standardized tests (S.D. Codified Laws §13-27-3).

(U.S. Department of Education, State Regulation of Private Schools, 2009)


Teen Statistics in the State of South Dakota


South Dakota children between the ages of 4-17 diagnosed each year with ADD/ADHD: 8.1% (2007 study, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2007 Study).



For South Dakota women between 15-19 years old: 30.7 and 39.0 per 1,000 women. (Center for Disease Control and Prevention 2009 Study).



National suicide ranking: 3rd. Number of deaths: 31 (crude rate of 26.9). (CDC’s WISQARS website “Fatal Injury Reports, 2010”;)



A 2009 report showed that 21.1% of South Dakota teens abuse alcohol and 13.5% are binge drinking. Marijuana use in South Dakota teens was 7.5% and illicit drug use was at 6.2%. (State Report, 2009, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.)



Juvenile arrests in South Dakota for 2008 include 1,640 arrests for property crime, 79 arrests for violent crime, 590 arrests for drug abuse and 83 arrests for weapons violations. (Washington, DC: Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2009).



For the 2010-2011 school year, South Dakota reported an 83 percent high school graduation rate. (U.S. Department of Education, Graduation Rates 2010-2011)


Military schools and boot camps are generally not recommended by experts as long-term solutions for at-risk teens. HelpYourTeenNow is ready to provide you with guidance via a free phone consultation and point you toward programs that have a proven record of success. We are not affiliated with any schools or programs—instead, we rely on our network of parents and experts who have experience in the teen help industry. When you’ve done everything you can do and your teen still needs help, contact us at HelpYourTeenNow.

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