Military Style Summer Schools

Gabrielle Applebury
Contributor: Lindsay Woolman
Military summer schools

A military style summer school offers a regimented education program that teaches teens how to make better choices, test their physical and mental limits, and embody the values of respect, honor, and self-discipline. The choices include everything from military academies to camps for teens at risk and summer boot camps for teenagers.

Benefits of Military Style Summer Camps for High School Students

These types of summer programs offer a challenging and rewarding experience for teens as a way to prepare for college and beyond. Many of these schools have outdoor elements and physical challenges that add to the experience and provide a sense of adventure similar to a sports camp so that it's much more than a traditional sit-down classroom. Being away from home in a structured environment can be important for youth who are prone to getting in trouble during the summer or are not responding to a traditional summer school program. Knowledge and wisdom gained in these types of schools and teen summer camps include:

  • Teamwork and collaboration
  • Stronger physical and mental capabilities
  • Leadership skills
  • Confidence building
  • Structure and discipline
  • Personal responsibility
  • Physical fitness

List of Military Style Summer Schools for Teens

Here are some military summer school programs that are available. Most of these programs are a few weeks to a month in length; some may offer boarding school year round.

Fork Union

Fork Union is a Christian boarding school with a summer program for boys in grades seven to 12. It is located in Fork Union, Virginia. This program runs for four weeks at the end of June through July and costs $4,350 which includes room, board, textbooks, classroom supplies, clothing, and field trips. This program offers:

  • Make up courses or opportunities to get ahead of your regular school academic classes
  • Extracurricular activities and sports opportunities
  • Elective courses including leadership, college prep, religion, and personal finance

Honor Code

Honor Code, located in West Point, New York, offers multiple programs for high-achieving students in grades nine to 11. The co-ed program runs for five days and costs $1,795. The program offers:

  • Recreational activities like paintball, bowling, and a field trip
  • Time management training
  • Leadership training
  • Physical training

Hargrave Military Academy

Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Virginia offers a summer session for boys in grades seven to 12. The session offers academics, leadership, and athletics. The program can be attended during the day only, or as a sleep-away camp for four weeks beginning at the end of June and through July. Both the boarding and daytime option cost $4,100 and include meals, uniforms, books, sports programs, and laundry services. This program offers:

  • Tons of sports options to participate in including basketball, football, soccer, and swimming
  • Credit recovery courses for missed requirements including algebra I, core math, geometry, and English for grades nine through 11
  • Enrichment course options including SAT/ACT prep, character and leadership, personal finance, writing, and computer science to name a few

Marine Military Academy

Marine Military Academy is located in Harlingen, Texas, and offers a summer camp for boys 11 through 18. Some challenges include obstacles courses, mud runs, paint ball, and a rifle range. The camp runs for four weeks from the end of June through July and costs $4,500. This includes room, board, tuition, and uniforms. This camp offers:

  • Ropes course, zip lining, and rock climbing
  • Leadership course
  • Iron man competition and drill competition
  • SAT prep if wanted
  • Tons of sports including basketball, football, soccer, weight-lifting, dodgeball, swimming and archery to name a few

Camden Military Academy

Camden Military Academy offers summer sessions for enrichment and outdoor camp experiences for boys in grade six through 12 in North Camden, South Carolina. This program includes classes for credit and teacher supervision during study hall. This program costs between $2,600 and $4,895 depending on how many classes are taken, as well as how many days your child boards there. The program includes:

  • Swimming, weight lifting, track, beach volleyball, and tennis
  • Free golfing at a local course
  • Accredited classes to help your child catch up or get ahead including chemistry, biology, English, algebra, history, geography, Spanish, and French
  • Weekend field trips to amusement parks, paint balling, and white water rafting

Army and Navy Academy

Army and Navy Academy has summer programs and leadership schools for young men and women in grades nine through 12 in Carlsbad, California. This program focuses on leadership and confidence building skills. The program runs for four weeks and costs between $3,000 and $5,145 depending on which specific program is chosen. This camp offers:

  • Team building challenges
  • Leadership development courses
  • Confidence boosting exercises
  • Conflict resolution lessons
  • Study skills and test taking strategies
  • Physical activity including swimming, tennis, and ropes courses

Midcourse Correction Challenge Camp

Midcourse Correction Challenge Camp is an outdoor challenge camp for at-risk youth that aims to build confidence and serve as a wake-up call for teen girls and boys. This camp runs just over the weekend and costs $495. Located in Howell, Michigan, this camp allows campers to join the mentorship program after graduating successfully. This program offers:

  • Problem solving challenges
  • Insight building training and activities
  • Opportunity to foster growth through resilience boosting education and lessons
  • Identification of negative thoughts and promotion of more realistic, balanced thinking

Choosing the Right Camp

Climbing a net during obstacle run

Boot camps and military schools can be helpful for teens who need a bit more structure in their lives, or want to add something unique to their resume or college applications. These programs may work for teens who are experiencing behaviorally based issues, or are wanting to bolster their independence, leadership skills, and athletic abilities. If possible, tour the camps prior to selecting one and meet with the staff that your child will be interacting with on a regular basis. Teens respond best to people who they can connect with and feel like understand them, so keep that in mind as you are meeting or chatting with the camp's senior staff members. These camps are not the best option for teens who are experiencing highly distressing mental health symptoms because these programs tend to focus on discipline, behavioral modification, cooperation, and communication. For those experiencing uncomfortable mental health symptoms, finding an appropriate mental health program, therapist, and support group is the best course of action.

What to Expect at Summer Boot Camps for Teens

The goal of military style summer schools is to give each young person a sense of accomplishment and some tools to be successful in life. The right program should offer a mix of caring staff and the right motivators to help your teen reach their potential. Even though the challenges can be extremely difficult, when offered the opportunity, it is possible for your teen to step outside of their comfort zone and grow.

Military Style Summer Schools