Is Your Child Prepared for Life?
Effective Summer Camp to “Reset” Family Relationships
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 toward 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 who 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 a 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.
A “Reset” Camp, Not a Troubled Teen Summer Camp
Located just 90 minutes from New York City and Philadelphia, Summerland is the finest behavior change camp in the country. 350 private acres, nestled on our private lakefront, is where children, teens, and young adults can realize their goals while enjoying the best activities program… bar none.
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.
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 through multiple Zoom family workshop sessions.
2. We provide ample opportunities for campers to develop intrinsic motivation to plan, monitor, and 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. Parents are provided with tools 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 through scheduled Zoom meetings on how to redirect, support, and encourage targeted behaviors.