Common Concerns: Is Wilderness a Good Fit?

We understand how important a decision it is to a enter a program like ours and we know you have many questions! We hope this blog series can help answer those questions and ease any concerns you may have. As always, feel free to contact our Admissions department to enroll your child or if you have any other questions.

IMG_1618“I’m not sure the wilderness is a good fit for my child.
My teen is not the outdoorsy type.”

Few troubled teens are skilled woodsmen or outdoor adventurists before coming to Outback. In fact, when you look at a group of Outback students you see typical teenagers from all walks of life. They look like they could have been picked at random from the passing period of your daughter’s school hallway. They often love the comforts of home, excitement of nightlife out with friends, or being secluded with their electronics and online cohort as much as the next teen.

But for teenagers who are struggling at home to live up to their potential, get clean from substances, or unplug from a device, the Outback experience cannot be matched.  We’ll take your nature-adverse teen that is struggling with substance abuse and help them experience the natural high of hiking to the summit of a tall mountain peak. The same kid that you can’t get to eat anything but hamburgers and fries will learn to love food that they prepared themselves from basic ingredients and then cooked over an open fire. That same resistant kid that would only give one word answers to your questions will open up like you never imagined as they sit around a crackling campfire that they learned to make without matches.

Nature provides the space to be creative, to problem solve and adapt, to collaborate and be challenged in new ways, and to reap the success and confidence from learning new skills.

The gear we provide is high tech and more than adequate for keeping your child warm, dry, and (most importantly) safe. We take all the time needed to teach our students new skills so they may make themselves comfortable in this refreshingly rustic setting.

When parents come to visit their child part way through the program they are consistently amazed with their child’s new abilities, strength, healthy appearance and motivation for the future.

Your non-outdoorsy teenager may not go on to be the next John Muir (though that could be great!), but they will leave Outback with tremendous success under their belt, new healthy self-esteem, and an appreciation for all they have.


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