Mark Hobbins Joins Forces with Brat Camp to Highlight Plight of Troubled Teens
- The Brat Camp series, airing for its second season on ABC in 2005, has been likened by some to Scared Straight, Producer/Director Arnold Shapiro’s groundbreaking 1978 documentary pitting at-risk teenagers against hardened criminals. Though Brat Camp’s setting in the picturesque Oregon wilderness couldn’t be further from Scared Straight’s New Jersey cell block, it’s a fitting comparison.
- In both situations, the hope is to redirect teens who are charting a course for self-destruction. It’s a message as pertinent today as it was nearly 30 years ago. According to Mark Hobbins, Vice President of Aspen Education Group, whose Sage Walk Wilderness School is depicted in the program, teens across the country of all ethnicities and socio-economic groups are gambling with their futures.
- “Violence, drug abuse and irresponsible behavior are rampant among teens today. Program’s like Brat Camp raise awareness of these problems while at the same time showing the power of teamwork, self-esteem and spirituality to turn lives around.”
- Nine “problem” children face the harsh realities of survival in the great outdoors when they arrive at Sage Walk. For more than 50 days, Brat Camp’s film crew follows their progress and setbacks. For the campers’ families, it’s a last ditch effort to get back the children they once knew. For viewers, it’s an opportunity to witness the humorous, heartbreaking and, ultimately, heartening process of transformation. As one camper writes in a letter home, “Dear Mom, I am changing. I can feel it deep in my soul.”
Hobbins brings his experience to bear by consulting on a number of popular television programs, including the Brat Camp series which originated in the UK in 2004. In addition to his role at Aspen, Mark Hobbins serves on the Board of Directors for the Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Industry Council and the National Association of Therapeutic Wilderness Camps. Mark also serves on the national colleague panel for the Council on Accreditation. He has written and lectured extensively on the challenges of maintaining a healthy family and raising teens in today’s society. Hobbins and his wife Diane are the proud parents of seven children.