The History of Brat Camp
BRAT CAMP started as a British reality show for Channel 4 in the United Kingdom. In the first Brat Camp series, seven rude, selfish, and defiant teenagers from middle class homes in Britain to Turn-About Ranch in Utah. Because of their bad behavior while at home, the city kids found themselves in the middle of a working horse and cow ranch. They went from being lazy and spoiled to living in a log cabin and learning that the only hot meal they would eat would be the one they cooked for themselves. From the get-go, the teens at Turn-About Ranch for the first BRAT CAMP series learned what it means to be hard but fair. The teens learned honesty, respect, and teamwork. When they returned home, many of the original brat campers returned to school, got jobs, and left their old behaviors behind.
With the success of BRAT CAMP in the UK, ABC brought BRAT CAMP to the States. The ABC series featured Sage Walk – The Wilderness School. Sage Walk’s intense, effective intervention has a way of reaching defiant teens that have been hostile to previous efforts to change their behavior. Within just a few short months, children and teenagers emerge with a new perspective on their lives and with renewed hope for their futures. That’s exactly what happened with the students of ABC’s BRAT CAMP.
The British BRAT CAMP series then returned to Utah when Aspen Achievement Academy admitted seven troubled teenage girls. Aspen Achievement Academy was the ideal wilderness program for the students of BRAT CAMP 3 because most of the girls had substance abuse issues and AAA specializes in helping teens with chemical dependency problems. The lazy, bratty girls found themselves in a safe yet challenging environment. The power of the natural world combined with the professional expertise of therapists and field instructors transformed the girls.
The latest BRAT CAMP series features a group of rowdy teens from Germany. Turn-About Ranch was again chosen as the place to help these bratty kids get over themselves and their terrible behaviors. This production has loving been titled “Teenagers Out of Control” or “Teenager Ausser Kontrolle” in German.
The BRAT CAMP shows aren’t just about horses and cattle. They’re not just about discipline. They’re about working through the behaviors that earned these teens a ticket to BRAT CAMP. Removing teenagers and young adults from their usual environment provides a chance for them to look hard and close at the decisions they have made. Without their typical distractions – friends, drugs, alcohol – troubled youth are forced to work through their past and make changes in the direction of their lives. The kids at are supervised by highly trained, experienced counselors and therapists to help them along their journey of personal growth and reflection.
By bringing the success of wilderness programs and schools for troubled teens into mainstream media, families around the world are learning about and being inspired by the incredible resources available. Parents who have been struggling with what to do with their out of control kids know that there’s hope. They learn that they’re not alone and that there are ways to help their bratty children turn their lives around to grow into healthy, happy, and productive adults.