Not your typical summer camp
Often parents will ask us, “Why should I choose Summerland over a regular summer camp?” Both programs will provide a “technology detox”- but that’s where the differences end.
Without a solid plan in place for moving forward, and without a commitment from the camper to change their behaviors and routine, and without the development of self-regulation skills, there will be no long-lasting effect.
At Summerland Camps we provide exceptional value with:
- Fun experiences to generate interest in non-screen related activities.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy groups to educate campers on the effects of and count the costs of too much screen time. Interventions are research-supported and “best practice” for their target objective.
- Assistance with creating a healthy daily and weekly schedule that parents can help support back home.
- A full binder of resource materials for campers and parents alike to support the ongoing commitment for change.
- A parent workshop to ensure parents have the tools necessary to support campers back home.
- Remote aftercare services (done via Skype) to ensure the momentum is continued forward after discharge.
At Summerland camps we seek to inspire change from our campers from within, not to lecture them on what they should do. Developing intrinsic motivation to limit screen activities in order to live a healthier, happier life is what we do.
A positive-peer culture helps each camper open up about negative consequences they have suffered as a result of poor decision making. But we don’t just help campers make a decision to change- we give them the help they need to identify new behaviors and practice them.
We provide both parents and campers practical direction on setting built-in limits for electronic devices. We provide role-playing opportunities with parents at our parent workshops to help avoid arguments over excessive electronics use.
We also work with the campers to help them develop a sense of when too much screen time activity can negatively affect their ability to live a happy and healthy life. We help them create a working schedule that parents and campers can all agree with, and then we develop strategies to assist the camper to implement these newfound behaviors when they go home.
Best of all, the interventions are done is a supportive atmosphere. We have fun at Summerland Camps learning new skills and creating positive goals for the future.
Better Than Camp for Troubled Teens
At Summerland Camps, we change lives because we are an inspirational camp that takes an honest look at behavior, interpersonal interactions, and life goals- something a typical summer camp for troubled teens would not do. We start by meeting our campers where they are at. We sit down with them and understand their hopes, dreams, and what they want out of life. For some campers, it’s the first time an adult outside the home has ever taken this level of interest in who they really are.
Once we have some individual and group discussion on their interests, what they are good at, and what they want to do with their life, we figure out what it will take to get them there. We take a completely opposite approach than a summer camp for troubled teens. We don’t see your child as broken; they just don’t have a solid plan for the future and lack the skills and insight to get them to where they need to be.
We help your child understand what it will take to make their dreams come true. Often this involves a major time commitment studying, practicing an instrument or craft, or learning a skill. We take a look at how their current behaviors fall in line with their life goals. For example, if the camper has an issue with anger, or if they would play computer games 5 hours a day if there was no supervision, is it reasonable they will achieve their life goal?
Counting the Costs
At Summerland Camps, we actually count the costs of excessive digital media overuse. We look at how far the camper could have already gone towards their goal if they would have devoted the same amount of energy and time to a more worthwhile pursuit. This is done in both group and individual therapy. It’s a fun and eye-opening exercise which is done using worksheets our of a curriculum workbook we give each camper that they take back home with them as a resource. Usually this activity generates a lot of ideas from campers about what they want to go home and take on as a more worthwhile pursuit of their time.
With a group influence, campers bond with their peers and decide to make new commitments in their life. We teach them practical skills for time management, behavior tracking, and goal attainment. We also learn skills that may need sharpening up like anger management, social skills, and more.