Troubled Teen Summer Camp: Why We’re Better

Often parents will ask us, “Why should I choose Summerland over a regular or troubled teen summer camp, boarding school, or wilderness therapy program?”  Each program 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.  

Not your typical summer camp

At Summerland Camps we provide exceptional value with:

  • Fun experiences to generate interest in non-screen related activities.  
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy groups 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.
Click a button below to compare Summerland Camps to summer camp for troubled teens:
  • A full binder of resource materials for campers and parents alike to support the ongoing commitment to change.
  • A parent workshop to ensure parents have the tools necessary to support campers back home.
camp for troubled teens

We stay positive at Summerland Camps- our core belief is that change is best when it comes from within.

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 the 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 with practical direction on setting built-in limits for electronic devices.  We provide role-playing opportunities with campers, and we discuss common conflict situations over tech at our parent workshops to help avoid arguments over excessive electronic 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 in implementing these newfound behaviors when they go home.  

Best of all, the interventions are done in a supportive atmosphere.  We have fun at Summerland Camps learning new skills and creating positive goals for the future.

Why Wait for the Summer?

At Summerland, we have a variety of options available. Apart from our summer program, we offer:

Year-Round Adventure Trips: Our adventure trips occur during common school breaks including Thanksgiving, Winter, Spring Break, and early summer. Activities include surfing/bodyboarding, kayaking, snorkeling, mountain biking, fishing, hiking, camping, and gourmet campfire cuisine. This trip is so much more than a tech detox. With two behavior coaching sessions per day and an online parent workshop, participants leave with the skills necessary to manage screens. Join us for a life-changing adventure from March to December.

Online Behavior Coaching: With our online behavior coaching option, your teen or young adult can learn about self-regulation and screen management strategies in the privacy of your home. We have a range of individual and group session packages available, and your child can get started immediately.

Better Than Camps 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 to 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.

It’s a fun and eye-opening exercise that is done using worksheets out 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 lives.  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.