Audrey educates audiences on ways to raise a generation of kids who can become responsible, independent, and flourishing adults.
Interested in a booking Audrey for a keynote or interview?
Audrey is a summer camp director, parent, writer, and speaker who follows the research, trends, and best practices regarding parenting, positive psychology, and social skills. Audrey has researched, written, and spoken extensively on the topics of summer camp, social skills, parenting, and well-being to parent and teacher groups.
Audrey distills big topics into manageable, easy-to-understand guidelines and shares her knowledge with others through her writing and speaking. In collaboration with parents, camp counselors, and teachers, Audrey’s mission as a parent and youth development professional is to help raise a generation of kids who become responsible, independent, and flourishing adults.
“I would like to take a quick moment, now, to tell you that this was hands-down our best talk of the year. You were so completely engaging and inspiring and REAL and informative and just plain fun to listen to.
That’s a not very elegant way of saying:
I loved it, A LOT."
–Karla, Parent at Pegasus School
“I really enjoyed the workshop. The topic was very appropriate for my needs and the information was fantastic" - Shelby
“Great meeting. I love getting ideas on how to teach my daughters to be happy and successful in life." - Shannon
"For me, “finding the right tribe” hit home. I had been trying to get my daughter to become closer to two girls because of my friendship with their moms and it’s been clear for awhile that, that’s just not going to happen. Finding the right tribe was just what I needed to hear. Thank you." –Kris
“Thank you, Sunshine. You give the best parenting advice of anyone I know." - Sheri
keynote and workshop topics
Happy Campers: 9 Secrets from Summer Camp for Raising Kids Who Become Thriving Adults
Audrey tells stories from camp and her family and shares the research-based strategies parents cans implement to bring the warmth, fun, and connection of summer camp home.
All I Really Need to Know I Learned at Summer Camp
In many schools and homes, high stakes academic demands and structured scheduled have led to less of the experiences kids need to develop important interpersonal skills necessary for a thriving life. There is one institution where the focus consistently remains on helping kids grow the social skills and character traits they need to become thriving adults: summer camp. In this keynote talk for parents, which is based on Audrey's book HAPPY CAMPERS, parents learn specific, easily-implementable strategies for bringing some of the magic of summer camp home.
Coaching Your Child to Better Friendships/10 Friendship Skills Every Kid Needs
Our children’s social skills are more important than their academic or athletic ones, and yet very little of our focus is on teaching kids social skills. This talk, for parents, teachers, and anyone who works with children, provides guidelines and steps for identifying social skills strengths and deficits and for coaching children to improve social skills. Learn to identify your child’s social skills strengths and deficits as well as simple coaching techniques to help them improve specific social skills.
Five Steps to Teaching Kids Conflict Resolution Skills
Many kids struggle to get along with their siblings and peers, and adult intervention is often ineffective. Good conflict resolution skills are important, because they lead to better relationships, more happiness, and greater success in all areas of life. In this workshop, Audrey reviews five steps to help kids learn to resolve conflicts
10 Positive Parenting Tips from Camp Counselors
Learn simple positive behavior management techniques that camp counselors use to get campers to be on their best behavior! Taking a more positive behavior management approach makes parenting a lot more enjoyable and less taxing, enhances your relationship with your child, and grows greater responsibility and self reliance in your child.
Helping Kids Foster REAL Connections
In our uber-connected world, many children and teens feel more disconnected and lonely than ever before. Learn specific strategies for creating a more positive, connected family culture at home and increase the likelihood that your child or teen will flourish as an adult.
Positive Parenting Strategies to Raise Great Kids
This talk is designed to help parents learn specific strategies great parents use to raise responsible, competent, flourishing kids. Sharing stories from her own interactions with parents for more than 30 years and from her own parenting of five kids, Audrey shares specific tips for what great parents do to partner well with teachers, coaches, and other adults who work with their children. Giving and receiving feedback, what information to share with professionals, and other strategies are discussed all with the end goal in mind of benefiting your child’s development.
Partnering with Parents: Providing High Quality Year-Round Parent Education & Communication
Our campers’ (or students’) parents look to us for much more than providing a few weeks of summer fun (or, in the case of schools, only academic learning). Parents also see us as partners in raising their children and look to us for parenting education and advice. What communication and education do you currently provide to your campers’ parents? What’s your year-round communication and education strategy? Outlining the thorough communication and education process Monke has developed over the past three decades, she will guide participants to develop a plan that will enhance how your camp families perceive your program. Participants will learn how to: determine the key messages and values to focus on; utilize simple strategies for providing parent education; and develop a year-round communication plan. Templates and examples will be provided!
WOWing Parents: Feedback and Follow Up
What is your camp or school’s current evaluation system? Who do you ask for feedback, how often do you ask for feedback, and what do you do with that information? Outlining the thorough evaluation and follow up process Monke has developed at her camp over the past decades, she will provide guidelines for who to ask for feedback, what to ask, how often to ask, and evaluation formats that work best. She will also guide participants on how to follow up on the feedback received, use camper (student), parent, and staff feedback in your planning, and take your already good camp or school program to a new level of excellence.
Training Counselors/Teachers to be “Friendship Coaches”
How well do campers or students make friends at your camp or school? Drawing on her research on social skills and camp, Monke will provide you with the tools you need to train counselors/teachers to become “Friendship Coaches” who are prepared to help campers/students with their social skills deficits and foster closer connections between campers. Participants will learn how to: foster better friendships at camp by training counselors to be “friendship coaches”; plan group and camp-wide friendship-enhancing activities and reconsider practices that deter friendships; and identify and describe social skills learned and practiced at camp.
Friendship Skills Workshops
Audrey loves working directly with kids coaching them to better social skills. She has active, participatory workshops she’s used at summer camp assemblies that are designed to help kids learn and practice many important social skills, including:
“Both my boys have had a hard time fitting in to our uber competitive elementary school. This workshop gave me some insight into how to improve their social skills within this context, as well as a whole new way to look at who your friends are or should be."
“Your realistic perspective and funny comments and stories about your own family were most helpful. Makes us feel like we are all on the same page."
“The content was great! Thanks so much for doing this." - Arifa
audrey has been featured in
All about camp with author Audrey Monke, Ep. 92
Happy Campers with Audrey Monke
Ep. 273: Actual, real happy families with returning champion Audrey Monke
Ep. 15: Lessons from Summer Camp with Audrey Monke
Mom Writes: Episode 84: Audrey Monke Returns (Like Mary Poppins Returns! Summer Camp Style)
Interview with Audrey Monke, author of "Happy Campers: 9 Summer Camp Secrets for Raising Kids Who Become Thriving Adults," An episode of The Pickup Line News
Mom Writes: Episode 44 Audrey Monke On Parenting Writing Part One
Mom Writes: Episode 45 Audrey Monke On Parenting Writing Part Two
Focus on Student Strengths | ATP interview 05| Sunshine Parenting blog/podcast | Audrey Monke
Give Your Child the Magic of Summer: A Conversation with Summer Camp Director/Sunshine Parenting Podcast Host Audrey Monke
School's Out feat. Audrey Monke
Episode #11: Audrey Monke: Why Your Athlete Should Go To A Sleepaway Camp This Summer
speaking + media bio
Audrey Monke, with her husband, Steve, has owned and directed Gold Arrow Camp (Lakeshore, California) for 34 years. On her website, Sunshine Parenting, Audrey shares resources for parents and youth development professionals about summer camp, parenting, and happiness. Her podcast features interviews with parenting authors and experts, including camp directors. Audrey’s book, Happy Campers: 9 Summer Camp Secrets for Raising Kids Who Become Thriving Adults (Hachette-Center Street, 2019)
shares strategies for bringing the “magic” of camp home.
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