SUWS is one of the oldest wilderness program. For many years it was not marketed as therapy but more like an outward bound program. Around 1980 the boot camp styled way of running a wilderness program was introduced. SUWS followed the market trend.
In 1985 a boy died during a hike showing that wilderness programs are dangerous. Today we know that he was just one of many who didn’t return home alive. It doesn’t sound like fun being a teenager in such programs.