Happy Campers:
9 Summer Camp Secrets for Raising Kids Who Become Thriving Adults

“HAPPY CAMPERS–full of practical and powerful tools that parents can immediately put into practice–lights a path to help parents nurture a culture of connection in our homes…to help our children become their best selves.”

—Tina Payne Bryson, Ph. D., LCSW, and New York Times bestselling co-author of The Whole-Brain Child and The Yes Brain

“Happy Campers offers the big dose of positivity parents need! Make your parenting far more enjoyable and effective by adopting practices camp counselors use at summer camp to create fun, life-changing, and character-building experiences for their campers. The ‘Bringing Camp Home’ section at the end of each chapter provides proven ideas and practices to raise kids who are more capable, kind, resilient, and optimistic – and who have the skills to thrive as adults!”

–Jon Gordon, best selling author of The Energy Bus and The Power of a Positive Team

“Happy Campers is a remarkably powerful parenting guide. Audrey brings a unique confluence of skills. She has been a camp director for over three decades and has worked with thousands of children and their parents. She has seen what produces capable and content children – and what produces the opposite. She combines that experience with a deep understanding of psychology and her own experience as a mother of five. In Happy Campers, Audrey shares a wealth of knowledge coupled with truly practical advice. The unexpected benefit is that her advice actually makes being a parent more enjoyable as well as more effective!”

-Steve Baskin, Owner/Director of Camp Champions, Psychology Today writer, and TEDx Speaker

Happy Campers Book, Audrey Monke

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“Although I just got my copy of Happy Campers, by Audrey Monke, you would think I had owned it for years already given the multitude of dog-eared pages, the massive amount of notes in the margins, and the number of parents I’ve already lent the book to, urging them to read specific sections. Happy Campers is the brand-new, but already well-worn book I wish I had had twenty years ago when I first started my career working with children and families. It is full of practical, realistic, easy-to-implement, no-cost, research-based, transformational strategies that will help parents and caregivers bring the magic of summer camp into daily home interactions.

Happy Campers shines a light on nine overall positive practices used in quality summer camps and offers readers dozens (and dozens!) of ways to use these strategies to help kids and families thrive year-round. Starting with ideas for building nurturing connections between family members and then exploring critical topics such as the importance of optimism in interactions, how to nurture grit and determination, helping kids experience independence and grow their individual identities, making kindness cool, building healthy friendship skills, and cultivating the kind of self-confidence that makes kids unstoppable, Monke’s book is as realistic and readable as it is invaluable.

As a School Counselor, therapist, and parent, Happy Campers is everything I could hope for in a book and more! I highly recommend it for anyone living or working with young people!”

-Signe Whitson, Author and International Educator on Bullying Prevention

"The amazing benefits of camp can be nurtured beyond the summer months. This wonderful book puts it right in your hands."

Brooke Cheley-Klebe, Owner/Director of Cheley Colorado Camps

"Audrey Monke has spent decades refining the art of growing happy campers.  All her experiences tell her that what kids learn at camp translates into successful lives and futures.  In this book, she backs up her anecdotal information with research. Children are transformed by camp, and parents can learn so much from Audrey’s thoughtful counsel on how to translate camp to home—how to encourage positive transformation all year round.  Happy Campers is a must read for all parents—those who send their children to camp and those who should."

-Harriet Lowe, Editor-in-Chief of Camping Magazine

"Combining personal parenting experience with over thirty years of owning and operating a top-notch sleep away summer camp. Audrey has come up with practical and easy to apply techniques for parents to bring the beauties of the sleep away camp experience into their own families. Presenting 9 secrets to successful parenting with specific examples of what works and what doesn't makes this an invaluable tool for any family that will help in the raising of happy and healthy adults. As a long-time camp owner/director myself, I found Audrey's book an easy to read and use resource for anyone working with young people, either in a job or as a parent. I thought I knew a lot about parenting and raising young people, but Audrey opened my eyes to many new and useful ideas."

-Steve Proulx, Co-Owner/Director, Carmel Valley Tennis Camp

"Audrey has taken her many years of experience as an educator, researcher, camp owner and parent and distilled what she has learned into some very practical and impactful lessons that parents can use to create happier, stronger children and families. I have taken lessons from Happy Campers and applied them to my camp and my parenting."

-Jeff Gamble, Owner/Director of Jefunira Camp

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about the book

Why are kids more optimistic, resilient, independent, and competent
after just a few weeks at summer camp?

Why do they feel less depressed, anxious, and disconnected at camp than they do anywhere else?

Why are so many campers heartbroken when it’s time to go home?

Veteran summer camp director Audrey “Sunshine” Monke, psychologist and parenting expert, shares what she’s learned from three decades of creating a summer camp that kids call their “happy place” and “second home,” a culture where research has proven kids become happier while gaining important social and emotional skills in just two weeks.

Based on thousands of interactions with campers, camp counselors, and parents, and on academic research in positive psychology, Happy Camper introduces a framework of intentional strategies to help parents create the same kind of transformational culture that kids experience at camp. Instead of raising a generation of kids who are overwhelmed, anxious, depressed, and unable to function as independent and responsible adults, parents can create an environment at home that promotes the growth of important character traits and social skills that kids need in order to have meaningful and successful lives. Complete with specific ideas to implement these summer camp secrets a​​​​t home, Happy Camper is a one-of-a-kind resource for parents wanting to raise happy, socially intelligent, successful kids.

Preorder Now!

Available May 7th, 2019



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