During the final weekend, there is a family workshop in which parents are invited to join everyone at camp. The itinerary starts on Friday afternoon, and the purpose is to prepare the camper and help them plan for the transition. There is a parents’ only session, too.
Jacobus and his clinical psychologist know that without a buy-in from parents, the recovery will fail once they return home, and the temptation of long hours of gaming will loom large.
That’s why the highlight of the weekend is constructing the “Behavior Contract,” which helps the family work together to establish rules they will all agree upon. The campers write the rules during the last week of therapy, and during the parent workshop, they do final draft together before going home.
“Let them game or watch YouTube videos, but with limitation,” Jacobus advises. “Give their kids 15 minutes to wrap it up when it’s time for dinner as cortisol builds up during gaming.”
The campers not only leave with much better sleeping habits, they also understand what healthy eating and exercise can do for their body and mind. During these four weeks, they also build relationships with other campers who arrived asking: “What am I doing here?”
Another huge benefit of Reset Camp is the follow-up conducted after the campers return home. Each is paired with a counselor for check-in phone calls for eight weeks.
Unfortunately, about 15% of the families don’t follow through with the follow-up phone calls after camp.
“This is how we answer the question of…what is our success rate?” Jacobus adds. “We believe that our success rate is the 85% of the campers/families that take part in those follow-up calls.”
Another indicator of success are the campers who return as campers again, those who come back as counselors in training—and this year, several have returned as full staffers.”
As the school year now winds down to the finish line, students and parents will start looking ahead to prepare for sleep-away camp. After all, there are more than 7,000 camps to choose from in the country.
For the 23 boys and seven girls that will be heading to beautiful Santa Barbara’s Wesmont College, they’ll embark on a potentially life changing experience with the ability to detox from technology.
Michael Jacobus, Shelly Gutensohn and their talented staff are planning on it. There’s reason the camp is called “Reset”.