Arizona military camp helps young boys get on the right track in life.
Many children each year go off to summer camp to enrich their lives and spend time growing away from their families. Different types of camps offer different advantages to young campers. Reality Ranch, an all-boy military camp at Fort Thomas in Arizona, is the ideal camp for boys who have behavioral issues or who need help raising their self-esteem.
A Typical Day
A day at Reality Ranch begins just like most days in the military. The boys awake early and participate in physical conditioning first thing in the morning. Some days focus on aerobics, and others focus on calisthenics. The boys are served with three meals a day. In between the meals, the boys take part in activities and classes that vary each day to offer variety. Group formations take place throughout the day to make sure all the boys are present and to make announcements and give instructions.
Part of the Reality Ranch program includes taking classes to better the lives of the boys. The classes a young man takes are tailored toward his needs and activities he wishes to learn. Anger and stress management helps the boys learn to deal with the stresses of life and express their anger in a healthy way. The boys also learn about the codes of conduct used in the military, military drill maneuvers, military customs and traditions and the phonetic alphabet as used in the military. Confidence building, ways to deal with peer pressure, social skills and goal setting are also taught to the boys.
Military camps such as Reality Ranch are not just work. The boys also get to participate in recreational activities throughout the summer. Reality Ranch houses its own paintball course for the boys to enjoy. Occasionally, the boys will pack a lunch and spend their entire day on the paintball course, having fun and working on their teamwork. The boys are also taken on a trip to the Grand Canyon during the course of the camp. The boys are typically taken out to a restaurant during this trip. However, failure to behave properly results in the loss of the privilege to eat in the restaurant.
Given the difficulties that many of the boys sent to military camp have, Reality Ranch has specific behavioral expectations for the boys. Bullying, teasing and taunting other boys is not tolerated. All of the boys are expected to act in a respectful manner of everyone at camp, including the other boys. Failure to meet expectations results in losing out on a privilege, such as an excursion, or performing an additional task, such as push-ups or writing an essay. If the unruly behavior becomes excessive and cannot be corrected, the recruit may be forced to leave the camp to ensure the safety and enjoyment of the other campers.