Effective Curriculum for Behavioral Change
It all starts with buy-in, getting camper on board with the program. At camp we have a fun summer introducing campers to many sports, activities, hobbies and outdoor adventures like rock climbing, hiking, and whitewater geared to broaden their range of interests. We do this by focusing on fundamentals so that our campers become proficient on a range of new activities.
We are a behavior change camp which conducts education and focus groups to build insight into the consequences of technology overuse; in addition to providing practical information on how overusing technology affects sleep patterns, brain development, and can impede social development, relationships, and contribute to a sedentary lifestyle and all the negative consequences that might bring. We create change by teaching self-regulation skills, practicing these skills with appropriate tools, and planning for the transition home.
At camp, our counselors can intervene in real time to question thinking and have the camper practice new coping skills. Through our drama group activities we can practice new ways to handle stress or arguments, and actually create muscle memory of becoming frustrated in common “hot button” situations, but resolving these conflicts peacefully.
In the group, we learn how to keep a schedule and discuss the importance of self-monitoring behaviors. We teach campers how to set goals and implement systematic self-monitoring methodology in order to create behavioral change.
Our behavioral coaching experts work with campers on reaching their life goals and changing habits. Because we focus on the future and the wants and needs of the campers, we maintain a positive tone throughout camp. Our campers leave excited about the future and their new commitments and goals in life.
We give examples of how famous sports figures and Olympic athletes utilize self monitoring to achieve optimum levels of performance.
Towards the end of the clinical camp process, campers will be given back their electronic devices for those that have them (parents must sign a release of liability in case of damage to their device). In the final days, campers will be shown how to set limits on their electronic device and given the opportunity to practice their appropriate use. Sometimes a camper’s preferred technology will not be practical to bring to camp such as an X-Box. For these campers, we will use handouts, videos, or will provide a camp owned device to demonstrate how to set controls.
For students with social media accounts, the clinical director is available with the parent’s consent to go through the accounts and determine if they are salvageable or if they need to be deleted and start over. We will provide information and discussion on topics related to social media including privacy, arguing online, online bullying, and other inappropriate uses of social media related to self-esteem and identity.
For students with gaming interests, the clinical director is available to discuss the value of engaging in different types of games and where personal limits should be set. Typically, campers are enrolled with the attitude that they will play as many games as their parents allow, which usually ends in a verbal argument of the parent forcing the child to get off the game.
We will move this camper to a more self regulated process where they now have intrinsic motivation to turn off the game themselves in order to work on other pursuits in life- and to avoid an argument with their parents.
At the end of camp, campers will have chosen a new pursuit for their time. This can include participation in a sport, a hobby, learning a new language, or a commitment to devoting additional time to school work in order to achieve a career goal. Campers will develop and place in their resource binder a new schedule for their school day, weekend, and typical summer day. Goal worksheets will also be completed in the group that feeds into the newly created schedules.
The underlying philosophy and goal of the clinical camp process are to develop a camper’s intrinsic motivation to self-monitor and therefore limit their technology use. This takes more time to nurture than the parental component and must be targeted through a multi-layered strategy. We achieve this by introducing the campers to a wide variety of sports, hobbies, and activities- while simultaneously conducting groups on goal setting and various focus groups designed to uplift the campers from a routine of constant technology use to a more purpose-driven life.