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QUICK: Think of the three most transformative moments of your life. I guarantee two of them took place away from home. How do I know? Because human beings learn and grow most when we are apart from what’s familiar, like our homes, our cultures, our friends, and our families.

The problem is, we humans get awfully attached to what’s familiarand it hurts when we’re separated. Homesickness, for example, can ruin a young person’s time at summer camp or boarding school by making it hard to focus, participate, make friends, and get a good night’s sleep.

The solution is Prep4. Membership to Prep4School and Prep4Camp give students, campers, and caregivers instant access to awesome videos and live events that promote success and happiness. Prep4 is what adventurous young people need to prepare for their upcoming time away from home.

What about preparation for faculty, staff, and parents? Prep4Live provides the most engaging and energizing workshops your adult leaders have ever enjoyed! Choose from a wide range of popular topics related to safeguarding, leadership, supervision, mental health, behavior management, and personal excellence. Dates are limited, so book now.

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Prep4School makes boarding better. By watching Prep4School videos, students learn life skills and build a social-emotional foundation for success. Each of Prep4School’s multilingual animations teaches new and returning students the most effective strategies for managing time, preventing homesickness, adjusting to boarding culture, speaking up in class, communicating with advisers, coping with pressure, and more! Your annual membership to Prep4School is an affordable and effective way to support students’ mental health. Choose from an Individual Family Membership or an All-School Membership.

Why go to summer camp if it’s going to be painful? Your Prep4Camp membership includes access to Summer Camp Success, the revolutionary 25-minute video proven to create positive expectations, build confidence in coping skills, and lower the intensity of first-year campers’ homesickness by 50%, on average. In addition, members will enjoy additional videos, a Parent Podcast, a Camper Tip Sheet, and pop-up live events—all designed to soothe parental anxiety, make counselors’ jobs easier, and help young people get the most out of their camp experience.  Choose from an Individual Family Membership or an All-Camp Membership.

Prepare your team for the future with an inspirational live event. Dr. Thurber has been invited to deliver keynotes and workshops for outstanding schools, camps, conferences, corporations, families, and individuals on five continents. Take your learning and leadership to the next level by booking an online or on-site live event today with Prep4Live. Start designing your bespoke program with this annotated list of Dr. Thurber’s most popular presentations.

Advanced bookings are essential…and easy to make. Whether it’s a half-hour phone consultation, a confidential one-hour meeting, or a full day of training for your faculty or staff, please request your booking here, at no cost or obligation. Once we receive your request, Dr. Thurber will contact you to discuss your specific needs and proposed content. When you are ready to finalize your booking, a deposit will be required.

The Summer Camp Handbook is newly revised and updated. You may purchase it on Amazon as a paperback or a Kindle e-book.

The Summer Camp Handbook is also available directly from the publisher, ESC. Use coupon code THURBS to apply a special discount all the other camp gear in your ESC cart!


The Summer Camp Handbook

The Summer Camp Handbook is the only resource that tells families everything they need to know about camp, including how to decide when the time is right, how to find and evaluate different camps, how to prepare for the adventure, how to prevent homesickness, and much more.

The TODAY Show: Chatting with Al Roker about "The Summer Camp Handbook"


  • Phillips Exeter Academy

    Tyler Caldwell - 9th Grade Dean
    Prep4School is an amazing series of short videos that provide a much needed pre-orientation experience for students. By providing expert solutions to many of the challenges students face, Dr. Lee and Dr. Thurber help students feel connected, supported, and confident, even before they set foot on campus.
  • Phillips Exeter Academy

    Ryan - 10th-grade student
    Prep4School got me psyched for boarding school. I learned useful time-management and coping skills and particularly liked the video on reducing academic pressure. I know now that a positive mindset can help me achieve the outcomes I desire in a more effective manner.
  • Boarding School Applicant

    Athena - Beijing International School
    Prep4School videos put my mind at ease. As an international student, I found the application process nerve-wracking and I was anxious about going to school in a foreign country. After I watched Prep4School, I felt confident because I knew what to expect from my peers, my adviser, my teachers, and the school.