Our Value as a Behavior Change Camp or Affordable Boot Camp Alternative
Summerland is a fun affordable boot camp alternative for teens and young adults who overuse screens including video games, social media, Discord, and/or inappropriately overuse the internet. We also help kids and young adults build self-esteem, social skills, and more. If your child’s issues are not screen-related (video game addiction, social media overuse), this is not the best program for your child.
Parents often contact Summerland Camps frustrated at the high cost of treatment and are looking for an affordable boot camp or therapy camp. Most wilderness therapy programs are priced at around $60,000 for the entire program which only lasts 60-90 days. Therapeutic boarding schools and residential treatment centers (RTC’s) are similarly priced at $12,500 to $20,000 per month with little to no aftercare.
Summerland Camps offers a superior service with a reasonable pricing structure. If you are looking for an affordable boot camp or wilderness therapy program, you may wish to consider Summerland Camps as a more effective, lower-priced option. We provide group sessions but in a positive and motivating format.
It is important, however, to understand that the Summerland program is 100% voluntary. We do not accept aggressive campers or campers that would disrupt the fun summer experience for others. That being said, a certain amount of resistance is to be expected. We simply ask that campers understand why they are attending and that they agree to give it a try. If your camper is refusing an intervention, this is not the camp for them.
Our focus is on health and wellness. Campers learn how to manage screen activity and practice soft skills that will be needed to reach independence successfully. Group therapy may cover topics such as dealing with bullies, making friends, and finding ways to cope apart from screen-based activity. Every camper at Summerland is screen-free for the duration of camp.
Compare 90 Days Treatment:
Summerland Camps: 4 Weeks Adventure Course (12 group sessions per week) + 8 Weeks Behavior Coaching (2 individual sessions per week + 1 group session per week).
Parents participate in an online family Zoom workshop to set the child up for success upon returning home.
Total Group Sessions: 56
Total Individual Sessions: 16
Total 90-Day Cost: $15,772 ($13,406 with military discount).
Typical Therapeutic Boarding School: 90 days enrollment based on the standard rate of $12,500 per month (3 group sessions per week, 1 individual session per week).
For a typical therapeutic boarding school, your child receives 36 group sessions and 12 individual sessions in 90 days.
Total Group Sessions: 36
Total Individual Sessions: 12
Total 90-Day Cost: $37,500
Typical Wilderness Therapy Program: 90 days treatment based on the standard rate of $715 per day (1 group session per day 5 days per week, 1 individual session per week).
With a typical wilderness therapy program your child receives up to 60 group sessions and 12 individual sessions.
Total Group Sessions: 60
Total Individual Sessions: 12
Total 90-Day Cost: $64,350
We offer a 15% discount to military families!
The Summerland Process:
Let’s have some unplugged fun!
The Cost of Failure
Consider the cost of doing nothing. If you send your child off to college not prepared to deal with unstructured time, how likely will they be in the 60% that fail to graduate college? Consider the cost of wasted tuition, wasted time, and the cost of supporting your child back at home if they fail to thrive. Investing in Summerland Camps is insignificant compared to the cost of failure.
At Summerland Camps, we focus on teaching coping skills and developing insight – something no pill has the ability to do. We also take a positive approach. We don’t see your child as “broken” – they simply need to learn new skills and develop new habits. Punitive programs that seek to tear a child down and rebuild them can result in a child simply pushing back harder than before.
Campers enjoy fun and challenging activities during our adventure-based trips that occur year-round.
A Clinical Program with a Summer Camp Setting
Be careful about choosing any program that lacks a clinical underpinning. An affordable boot camp is not so affordable if the program makes no long-term changes. As you can see on the Summerland Camps website, we are proud of our motivating, positive, and scientifically based strategy for long-lasting change. The Summerland Camps strategy was developed by gathering scientific research on what works for troubled teens. A so-called affordable boot camp would not save families any money if the child returns home with no behavioral plan. You have to ask yourself, “If my child is going to be resistant to the program, and if there is no therapy component, how likely is it that the program will make any long-term change?” At Summerland Camps, we’ve put a ton of time and effort into this very issue. You cannot find a more positive or motivating therapy program.
Outpatient programs in a hospital setting can be expensive too- and like outpatient therapy, don’t provide a total reset opportunity. A child can just drag their feet through the day and never fully engage anyone in the program. The best opportunity for change is a total immersion experience where relationships with peers and the family are completely reset. Only separation of several weeks in a new environment will achieve this end. While an affordable boot camp can provide a reset opportunity, without therapists there is no clinical approach to address the underlying issues.
At Summerland Camps, we have developed an effective strategy to get our campers fully engaged quickly. We are the best value in behavior change camps. We have campers participate in activities they will love- sports, water activities, swimming, golf, and so much more. We get campers interacting and creating real relationships quickly. Consequently, if any foot-dragging is going on, they get called out quickly. Behavior coaches also meet with campers individually to discuss any issues that come up during the camp process.
We firmly believe that the best way to influence a teenager is through other teenagers.
Through the interactions campers have with other campers – whether that’s as a result of the team-building competitions or just having fun, we learn to interact and respond to one another in healthier, more pro-social ways. The problem with outpatient behavior change is that it’s done after the fact. In our setting, when we see campers getting upset, frustrated, or just having a bad social interaction, we step in and do the work of behavior change at the moment.
We are creating the experience of resolving negative feelings positively. For many campers, it will be the first time they’ve done this in a long time. Often the situation at home has just become too toxic- and we are locked into the same battles over and over that the learning experience has to take place elsewhere. We can make that happen; it’s what we do. We are the best value behavior change camp providing corrective opportunities for change.
It’s also critical when comparing our value to consider that you are paying for a full year of services versus just a short time at the program. Please see the graphic below to best understand our true value:
In this respect what we are doing at camp is not revolutionary per se- we are simply providing “best practice” interventions for improving relationships, learning coping skills, developing insight, and setting goals. What gives us such great results is that we are doing our interventions in real-time. We believe that processing an interaction weeks after the fact is not effective. We believe that it’s out of human interaction that people change and that we need to practice positive interactions to heal; not just think about what we should have done weeks later.
Value Components Summary
Summerland Camps offers the first and only summer camp environment for screen time overuse. We help through licensed individual therapists and behavior coaches a scientifically based curriculum to address excessive internet gaming, X-Box, handheld device, social media, and virtual reality overuse.
There are other programs which claim to help address internet gaming addiction, social media overuse, and so on. However, for most of these programs, it’s more of an afterthought, an add-on to their other therapy offerings.
We are unique in that screen time overuse is our primary focus, with social problems, frustration, anger and anxiety being related to the screen overuse habit. We don’t just gloss over the digital media issue, we hit it head-on.
Our positive focus is as unique as our location. Because we are rooted in self-monitoring methodology, we stay focused on creating goals and the behaviors it takes to achieve these goals. We don’t see your kid as, “broken.” They just have some bad habits, and habits can be unlearned, and new habits can be learned in their place.
Let’s face it- high-quality help is expensive, and Summerland Camps are not cheap. However, there is no reason why you should spend $500+ per day with our competitors. Do that math- are these programs paying their staff $500 a day? Does it cost $500 a day to house and fee a child? We charge a reasonable cost for a high-level service. Our help through behavior coaching in lieu of high priced psychiatrists, and our process is superior to most, and our cost is as reasonable as it gets.
We focus on screen-based activities. This generally means internally focused issues co-occur like anxiety, depression, and poor social skills. A lot of our campers also have problems with ADD / ADHD, and could benefit from learning how to stay organized and work on goals.
Other programs claim to help with gaming overuse, but you risk mixing your child in with drugs, alcohol, bullying and violence issues. Also, because other programs have such a wide focus, the therapy becomes quite diluted.