"Camp Green Lake is a camp for bad boys"
Boot camps are styled on military training camps
Public DomainBoot camps are styled on military training camps - Credit: United States Marine Corp / Wikimedia Commons

Camp Green Lake is where juvenile offenders are sent to be taught discipline and to be punished.


Boot camps for juvenile offenders are used in Canada and the United States as an alternative to juvenile prison. Offenders are usually offered the choice of boot camp or prison, with the time allotted at boot camp being significantly less than the prison term. They are modelled after military recruit training camps, with a focus on discipline, intense training and hard physical activity.


Methods used to keep children in line can be aggressive, and these boot camps have been criticised for only instilling in their campers frustration, resentment and low self-esteem. Some people believe the camps are an effective way of preventing repeat offences, while others claim that the numbers do not back this up. In this story, Stanley and the other children are treated so badly that the camp and its process of rehabilitation is little more than an excuse for child abuse. This may seem unrealistic, but some real boot camps have been accused of going too far. According to the New York Times, juvenile boot camps have caused 31 known deaths since 1980. In Florida, state run boot camps were banned after the death of 14-year-old Martin Lee Anderson, who was beaten and collapsed during extreme physical exercise. While he was unconscious, guards placed ammonia tablets near his nose to wake him up, causing him to suffocate.


Not all boot camps are so extreme in their methods, with some focussing on education as well as physical work, and adding more calming activities to encourage a change in attitude. The aim of these is to provide a place away from negative and triggering influences where self-destructive behaviour can be turned around. Boot camps remain a controversial issue in the United States and Canada, and are not widely used in other countries.