Through our life skills programs for troubled teens, students soon learn to recognize what needs to be accomplished and to focus on the task at hand. Our life skills training and projects provide an excellent opportunity for your teen to learn teamwork, communication and personal responsibility. Ozarks Teen Challenge features many projects throughout the year to help reinforce these principles.

Basic Life Skills

slide-1Addiction and defiance oftentimes stunts the normal developmental patterns of growth of a troubled teen. Instead of learning how to care for themselves and for the environment around them, their lives are consumed with how to continue their addictive behavior. Adolescence is meant to be a period of increased independence, competency, and personal responsibility as teens prepare to enter adulthood.

Understanding this developmental need, we at Ozarks Teen Challenge focus on teaching these basic life skills to each of our students from day one. Personal hygiene is encouraged through a structured schedule. Each teen learns to keep his personal space clean and organized. We also rotate our teens through five different life skills teams during their time with us, each with its own responsibility, ranging from cleaning and laundry to cooking and organization. As our students learn to take care of themselves and their environment, they begin to build self-esteem, competency, and an appreciation for the things around them.

Fitness & Nutrition

Learning to cookA foundational life skill for every teen is to learn the benefits and practices of fitness and nutrition. Teens who are using drugs or alcohol are damaging their bodies and are not particularly motivated to participate in regular exercise. By participating in our teen program wilderness therapy and physical fitness regimen, students begin to learn how to structure their time to invest in physical fitness. As they begin to see the physical benefits of fitness, our troubled teens are able to build self-esteem while learning positive habits that can last a lifetime.

We also believe in emphasizing a balanced, nutritious diet for our students. Our kitchen coordinator works to ensure that our students are given a unique and balanced menu each week. We not only provide a nutritious menu, but we also train our students in how to plan and cook these types of meals for themselves through our kitchen life skills team. With our teen program, each student learns basic cooking skills, proper portions, and nutritional information.

Volunteerism & Work Skills

06-Work-LifeSkillsLearning basic work skills is also an important part of the development of any teen. One way that we help to prepare our teens for future jobs is to invest in volunteerism within the community. Our teens are able to learn skills for future employment while helping local charities and churches at the same time. These activities incorporated into our teen program range from helping with logistics to serving at banquets or fundraisers. We also take time to teach each of our teens basic maintenance and lawn care skills as special projects arise. By focusing on helping others, learning professionalism, and serving, our students begin to realize their potential to make a positive difference in the world around them while gaining beneficial work skills.


Click here to read more about Life Skills Activities for Teen Development and Rehabilitation.