Affordable Wilderness Therapy Alternative

Looking for an affordable alternative to Wilderness Therapy? Wilderness Therapy can be very effective and is a great first step for certain issues, but it is cost-prohibitive for most.  It’s important to understand that Summerland Camps is a different type of program than Wilderness Therapy.  We serve campers who need to change their technology use habits, attitudes, and behaviors.  We do not serve campers with severe mental health issues or a history of violence.  Our campers tend to be bright, and academically capable but may have minor attention or socialization issues.  Most of our campers are college-bound.

While Summerland is an affordable wilderness therapy alternative, we do not accept aggressive campers, nor do we accept campers with current drug addictions that would be a negative influence on our community.  Wilderness Therapy can be appropriate for certain types of issues.  At Summerland, we don’t view your child as “broken.”  We believe that the behavioral change process is most effective when presented in a positive, uplifting way.

Please ask about financing for the year-round adventure trip option when you call.

Affordable Wilderness Therapy Costs

Parents are often surprised to discover our affordable wilderness therapy costs compared to other programs. Our 7-day adventure trip program can be financed for as little as 36 monthly payments of $138.49 (transportation to the program is not included in the price).

Financing is available through Affirm. Affirm provides an interest-free 6-month option and a paid 12 and 36-month option depending on credit. You can review total pricing, discounts available, and payment options here. Please click on “Pay” and then the “Affirm” link to review monthly payment amounts for the program you select.

We also offer affordable behavior coaching sessions for as little as $350 per month. Many program participants start with this online therapeutic option and then transition to an in-person program, or they utilize the online option as aftercare to ensure the changes they committed to while at the program survive the transition back home. The in-home behavior coaching option extends the length of treatment out for as long as needed but as a reasonable cost compared to in-person treatment.


We offer campers practical skills, guidance, and insight-developing opportunities they need to change for the better.  However, we do it in a super fun, 100% positive atmosphere.  At Summerland Camps, we also don’t accept campers who would pose a danger to others or potentially teach other campers worse behaviors.  For many families, that makes Summerland Camps the right fit.

Campers we serve may have issues with poor socialization skills, anger, and defiance.  We can help campers learn new strategies through behavioral coaching to improve their lives in a positive way, and in a much less restrictive and punitive environment.

We also provide the inter-dependent group format which makes Wilderness Therapy so effective for certain types of campers.  We do this by providing team challenge activities where campers must socialize and interact to achieve a common goal.

Summerland Camps Versus “Typical” Wilderness Therapy Comparison:

Summerland Camps:
3 weeks of camp tuition, no enrollment fee $10,995
Typical Camper's Severity of Issues: Low
Minimum Stay: 2 Weeks
Communication with Parents (weekly calls)

Summerland Camps offers sessions from 1 week to 7 weeks.  You are free to sign up for 1 week and then extend it to 6-weeks, commitment is necessary.  We are so confident you will love the program that we offer 1 week sessions knowing that most families will extend their child’s stay.  Further, at Summerland Camps, we don’t add hidden fees like “enrollment fees” or “gear fees.”  The price listed is what you pay, and don’t make parents pay extra for the parent workshop.  We also don’t accept campers with higher-level issues that could potentially expose campers to worse problems.

Wilderness Therapy:
Approximate Cost - $21,450 for 4 weeks typical, family workshop extra, enrollment fee extra
Typical Camper's Severity of Issues: High
Minimum Stay: 6 to 12 Weeks Typical
Communication with Parents (no phone calls typical)

Wilderness Therapy programs typically have a “no communication” policy other than letter writing to the parents.  We see little therapeutic value in severing communication between the camper and their family.  We encourage our campers to check in with their parents weekly to update them on the awesome activities they are participating in and the new friends they are making.

There are times however when Wilderness Therapy can be a better fit.  For campers with drug addictions, a pattern of violent tendencies, or disregard for the rights of others – an intensive wilderness program or locked program is going to be a better fit, in part because they would be inappropriate for Summerland Camps.

Is Summerland’s Affordable Wilderness Therapy the Right Fit?

For some campers, Summerland Camps are the way to go; for others, a program at a higher level than Wilderness Therapy will be a better fit.  We can help you determine the best first step and are happy to refer you to the best program for your child.

To determine if Summerland Camps are the right fit, give us a call at (800) 867-2090. We would be happy to learn about your child and give you the guidance you need to make the best decision.