Our screen-obsessed, competitive society makes it harder than ever to raise happy, thriving kids. But there are tried-and-true methods that can help. Instead of rearing a generation of children who are overwhelmed, anxious, depressed, and who struggle to become independent, responsible adults, parents can create a culture that promotes the growth of important character traits and the social skills kids need for meaningful, successful lives.

There are many reasons my husband and I choose to send our teenagers away to overnight camp far from home for a few weeks each summer. I love that Camp Owner and Mother of 5, Audrey Monke compiled the most important lessons gained at summer camp into her book Happy Campers: 9 Summer Camp Secrets for Raising Kids Who Become Thriving Adults. Whether you send your kids off to camp or not, Audrey gives us the secrets to live out the camp ideals in the comfort of our homes.

5 Reasons We Send our Kids to Sleep Away Summer Camp


Research has proven that kids are happier and gain essential social and emotional skills at camp. A recognized parenting expert, Audrey Monke distills what she’s learned from thousands of interactions with campers, camp counselors, and parents, and from her research in positive psychology, to offer intentional strategies parents can use to foster the benefits of camp at home.

In Happy Campers, Audrey shares nine powerful parenting techniques- inspired by the research-based practices of summer camp- to help kids thrive and families become closer.

Thousands of parents, including myself, attest to the “magical” benefits of summer camp for their kids, noting their children return more joyful, positive, confident, and resilient after just a few weeks. But you can learn exactly what it takes to promote these benefits at home. Complete with specific ideas to implement the most effective summer camp secrets, Happy Campers is a one of a kind resource for raising happy, socially intelligent, successful kids.


The bonus features at the end of the book offer parents actionable aids to help children flourish.  You will find tips on how to hold Family Meetings; Questions for Connection; Skills your child needs to build; a Household Task Audit and a Ready for Adulthood Checklist.

LISTEN to my Podcast Interview with Audrey HERE

BUY Audrey’s Happy Campers Book HERE

Do you send your kids to overnight summer camp?

Why would this book be good for you and your family?


ENTER TO WIN! Want to win a copy of Happy Campers? Comment below why you think Audrey’s book could benefit your family this summer! One winner will be chosen by random on May 14. Must be a resident of the USA for shipping purposes.


11 replies
  1. AmyRyb
    AmyRyb says:

    I can’t even convince my almost 11yo that a mere three-day camp nearby for kids with Celiac Disease just like him (meaning food would not be an issue) would be a great opportunity for him. He loves sports but otherwise isn’t big on the outdoors, so I think that aspect bugs him a bit. So maybe reading this book and seeing the ways we could instill those same skills at home would be helpful.

  2. Abby
    Abby says:

    My oldest son is 8 years old and finishing second grade this year, I’m not sure at what age sleep away camp begins but I remember my parents sending me when I was a child and I always had a blast! What better way to get kiddos away from screen time and encourage them to be more active and social, I’m all about it!

  3. Christie
    Christie says:

    I hear from her counselors how helpful, resilient, and take charge my daughter is at camp and would love to see those same behaviors exhibited at home.

  4. Amy Holmes
    Amy Holmes says:

    We don’t send one of our kids to overnight camp because he doesn’t want to go. He is the more anxious of the two, I think. I don’t want to make him go and am interested in what you’ve found in your book research.

  5. Monica Archer
    Monica Archer says:

    I would love to send my 3 boys to an overnight camp. I think it would help them become more independent.

  6. Jodi
    Jodi says:

    I would love this book. We are a family of 5 and our Littles have been to summer camp the past two summers for 3 weeks and can’t wait to go back. My favorite part about summer camp is picking them up and seeing their happy faces and hearing about their adventures. I would love to find a way to bring some of this into our everyday experiences during the summer to make more great memories.

    • Amy Carney
      Amy Carney says:

      Congratulations Jodi! You are the winner of the Happy Campers book! Look for an email headed your way for more details! Thank you, everyone, for joining in the conversation! Look for the next book giveaway coming soon!

  7. Nicole
    Nicole says:

    My teen enjoys going to out of town youth trips where he is among his peers . He comes home happy and confident ! I’d like to see my child in that independent, thriving frame of mind every day! I hope to get pointers from this great book , Happy Campers.

  8. Michelle
    Michelle says:

    My husband has been out of work for months and we can’t afford any fun summer camps. Since it is the first summer since my youngest child was born that I am back at work, I am determined to have my kids have a summer filled with screen free fun and friends…but I’m unsure how to make that happen! Would love to devour this book before the kids get out of school!! ????

  9. Stacy harrell
    Stacy harrell says:

    I had always loved summer camp and last year my husband and I had tree privilege to go along with our teen church youth group for a week away at camp. As a mother of 3 I would love to hear her insights of how to further help our kids with this perspective! Thank you!

  10. Stacy harrell
    Stacy harrell says:

    I had always loved summer camp and last year my husband and I had the privilege to go along with our teen church youth group for a week away at camp. As a mother of 3 I would love to hear her insights of how to further help our kids with this perspective! Thank you!


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