Boot Camps & Military Schools in Vermont

Military Schools and Boot Camps in Vermont

As a parent, it’s frustrating to watch your teenager make choices that could harm himself, others or his future. It’s your job to provide guidance on how he can get his life back on track, but where can you turn for solid advice? HelpYourTeenNow is a parent advocate group dedicated to consolidating quality information about the teen help industry and passing on resources for reputable programs, enrollment advice, funding details and more. We’ve been in your shoes—as parents of at-risk teens, our network of experts can guide you on the pros and cons of each program and make recommendations that best fit your family’s needs. Call HelpYourTeenNow to sign up for your free telephone consultation.

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

Many parents falsely believe that military schools and wilderness boot camps are the only option when it comes to fixing what’s wrong with troubled teenagers. However, real military schools are elite learning institutions with a focus on college prep, and boot camps are short-term, highly regimented outdoor programs designed to force kids to bend to authority rather than resolve deep-seated issues. Most experts agree that neither of these programs are the right place for troubled teens, so don’t enroll your child in a military school or boot camp—instead, look at other options.

School Name
School Style

Spring Lake Ranch


17 and up
Residential Treatment Center

Spruce Mountain Inn


17 and up
Residential Treatment Center

Virginia Regulatory Laws

All residential treatment facilities and 24-hour care programs must comply with licensing requirements set out by the Vermont Department for Children and Families through the Family Services Division.

Vermont has few requirements for private schools to operate, including no accreditation, registration or licensing. The Vermont State Board of Education can approve private schools that apply (16 VSA §828) and these schools must meet the Board of Education’s requirements for curriculum (16 VSA §166(b). Private school teachers in Vermont do not have to be state certified (State Board Manual of Rules and Practices 2228.3.2).

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


Statistics for At-Risk Virginia Teens


Vermont children between the ages of 4-17 diagnosed each year with ADD/ADHD: 9.9% (2007 study, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2007 Study).



For Vermont women between the ages of 15-19 years old: 16.4 and 29.4 per 1,000 women. (Center for Disease Control and Prevention 2009 Study).



National suicide ranking: 14th. Number of deaths: 13 (crude rate of 14.5). (CDC’s WISQARS website “Fatal Injury Reports, 2010”;)



A 2009 report showed that 20.1% of Vermont teens abuse alcohol and 13% are binge drinking. Marijuana use in Vermont was 10.8% and illicit drug use was at 5.9%. (State Report, 2009, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.)



Juvenile arrests in Vermont for 2008 include 569 arrests for property crime, 91 arrests for violent crime, 274 arrests for drug abuse and 29 arrests for weapons violations. (Washington, DC: Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2009).



For the 2010-2011 school year, Vermont reported an 87 percent high school graduation rate. (U.S. Department of Education, Graduation Rates 2010-2011)


The best advice and input you can get about placing your teen in a residential therapy facility is from other parents who have gone through the same experience. At HelpYourTeenNow, you can access the information we’ve gathered over the years and apply it to your situation. We aren’t affiliated with any teen therapy program or school—we just want to help families like ours get answer, get help and get healed. Call HelpYourTeenNow for a free consultation about military schools and boot camps, and why they may not be the best choice for your at-risk teen. We’ll help you work through the issues and arrive at a solution that will benefit your whole family.

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