Is Your Child Prepared for Life?
Effective Program in a University Setting
Let’s face it- the world has changed dramatically in the last 15 years. There are distractions everywhere, and it’s easy for young people to get off track. Summerland Camp’s mission is to help young people learn to balance screen time activities with school, work, and home. We see technology as a useful tool and a necessary component of modern life, but we also know that its overuse can bring young people unforeseen consequences.
Our job as parents is to guide our children towards adulthood with the tools and skills necessary to become successful. Summerland Camps prepare adolescents and teens to live in a world surrounded by screen-based activities. At its core- Summerland Camps reconnects young people to life. We provide a technology detox and a “reset” opportunity in a summer camp setting. Campers move, experience, and connect with nature and each other.
We also help campers overcome the negative effects technology overuse may have created. Often, adolescents and teens that overuse screen devices have become dependent on them for entertainment and stimulation. Socialization opportunities have been missed out on, and they have learned to rely on parents to structure their time. Sending a child off to college without the self-regulation skills in place to manage free time is a recipe for disaster. We are not your typical troubled teen summer camp- we are a camp for developing skills and changing habits so that young people can be successful in college and beyond.
Facts About Screen Use and College Age Children
53% of college students say video games caused them to put off doing academic work.
30% of college students drop out after their Freshman year- a significant percentage due to inability to handle unstructured time.
Living at Home
51% of lower-skilled men in their 20’s live with a parent or close relative, spending 75% of their leisure time playing video games.
Source: Business Insider 2017.
Not a Typical Troubled Teen Summer Camp
Most troubled teen summer camp programs that focus on improving skills and developing habits have one thing in common: the environment is not “real life.” As parents, many of us are focused on preparing our children to be successful for independent living. A significant percentage of us are hoping our children go to college after high school.
If college is the ultimate plan post-high school, then what better environment to learn new habits and routines than at an actual University?
North Carolina Location
The Value of a University Setting
At Summerland Camps, we see the value in preparing your child for the unstructured nature of college life. That is why all of our locations are on college campuses. We talk about self-regulation, that is- your ability to plan and execute pre-determined behaviors and stick to a planned schedule in order to meet your academic, activity, and life goals- all in a college classroom on a college campus! We are a camp for changing habits and preparing your child for independent living.
When we talk about responsibility and managing your time at a college dorm, we are actually in a college dorm! What better way to prepare your child for independence that hands-on experience in the actual type of setting they need to be prepared for.
Three major components are offered with each summer camp experience:
1. Campers get the opportunity to experience a fun summer. We are a camp for changing habits, but we also have a lot of fun! Because we maintain a positive focus, we are so much more effective than a typical troubled teen summer camp. Campers participate in typical summer camp sports, games, and social opportunities (talent shows, dances, skit night). The goal is to inspire campers to find activities to continue when they return home. We also have team building activities which provide a unique purpose at camp.
The camp is also a technology detox and an opportunity to reset technology usage at home. While the camper is away, parents have the opportunity to clean house, and they are given information and guidance so that they can do this effectively.
2. We provide ample opportunities for campers develop intrinsic motivation to plan, monitor, limit their technology use so that other life activities can become equally or more fulfilling. Curriculum materials guide the discussion groups to examine the costs of technology overuse and create a plan of action for going home. An important distinction over “boot camps“ or other troubled teen summer camp programs is that this is a fun camp for changing habits focused on developing insight and changing behaviors through skill building- not a restrictive or punitive behavior change camp. It can be assumed that most of our campers’ parents have already tried the punitive approach and that it probably didn’t achieve the results needed.
Towards the end of camp we move on to answer the question: “With decreased technology use, what will we do with our time?”
This is where things get exciting for the campers as they make newfound commitments to school, relationships, career goals, projects, hobbies, sports, healthy pursuits, and so on. We show campers how to use the same self-regulation skills they can use to monitor their gameplay to break down life goals into digestible chunks.
3. Parent workshops are provided to teach parents how to better handle technology conflicts and help manage their child’s technology overuse. Practical skills such as setting parental controls on the X-Box, internet safety, and time controls will be taught. Parents are provided supportive collateral materials including sample behavioral contracts, informational sheets on setting parental controls for technology, and general guidance on how to redirect, support, and encourage targeted behaviors. Role plays are also part of the workshop as well.