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Prep4 Makes Overnight Amazing!

Members get Instant Access to Awesome Videos
that Teach these Keys to Camper Happiness:

Preventing Homesickness
Packing What You Need
Writing Great Letters Home
Making and Keeping Friends
Trying New Activities
Managing Medications
Staying Safe Online (if you do virtual camp)

Prep4Camp teaches kids and caregivers how to maximize their enjoyment of overnight camp. Each family membership comes with a copy of the best-selling Summer Camp Handbook, written by international experts, Dr. Christopher Thurber and Dr. Jon Malinowski. Individual family and all-camp memberships also include access to Summer Camp Success, the engaging, live-action video that features real campers and real counselors sharing their insider tips for packing, preparing, and preventing homesickness. It’s a must-see for kids and parents!

Did you know that 95% of boys and girls between the ages of 8 and 16 report some feelings of homesickness while away at camp? It’s normal to miss the things you love, but with Prep4Camp, it doesn’t have to hurt. The graph on this page shows that first-year campers who used Prep4Camp felt half as homesick, on average, compared to first-year campers who did not use Prep4Camp.

Membership includes a year of unlimited access to:

  • Preparatory Videos–for families to watch together
  • Supportive Podcast–for parents to listen to after opening-day drop-off
  • Tip Sheet–for campers to download, print, and bring to camp
  • Best-Selling Camp Book–The Summer Camp Handbook (Individual Family Memberships)
  • Best-Selling Staff Training Handouts–by Dr. Thurber (All-Camp Memberships)

For 160 years, camp has been kids’ favorite way to spend the summer and we want you to love every minute of it! Become a member of Prep4Camp today and don’t let homesickness get in the way!

  • Camp Arcadia

    Louise Fritts Johnson - Director
    “Chris has been an integral part our staff training for twelve years running. Each winter, Chris and the camp directors discuss the current staff population and together develop training that is relevant to both the age group and Arcadia’s mission. We make sure Chris covers his specialty, homesickness, as well as a variety of topics such as team building, dynamic leadership, supporting all campers, transitioning from camper to counselor, asking for help, and even Internet socializing. Chris’s training is interactive, interesting, fun, thought provoking and human–a wonderful enrichment program for all camp leaders.”
  • YMCA Camp Belknap

    Seth Kassels - Co-Director
    "Dear Thurbs: A heartfelt thank you for all you are doing for the camp industry and for our kids. It was awesome to see you in action at ACA Nationals. You are truly leading by example and spreading the Belknap Spirit! For that, I am forever grateful. Timi-Hi and Seek the Joy."
  • Riverview Camp for Girls

    Susan Hooks - Director
    “When Chris speaks, my staff listens. His work with my staff adds a degree of professionalism that inspires my staff the entire summer! When we open staff training with Chris, the counselors suddenly realize that this is not just about the fun and games, but also about their role as youth development professionals. Chris instills a high degree of pride in the work we all do and makes our job as camp directors easier. A great day of training with Chris means a great summer to follow.”
  • ACA Mid-Atlantic Section

    John Beitner - Executive Director
    "Thank you so much, Chris, for providing such a timely keynote on sexual assault and abuse prevention for the American Camp Association's Mid-Atlantic Camp Conference! We also loved your workshop on motivation, "Why We Do What We Do." Both topics were perfect for our members, as they plan their staff training for the upcoming season."
  • Camps Kenwood & Evergreen

    Scott Brody - Director
    “We refer to Chris as the “Counselor’s Counselor.” His expertise in youth development and vast camp experience are incredible assets. Each summer, we ask Chris to spend several days with us, speaking with staff and campers. He is an incredible support to staff who are working with challenging campers and a wonderful resource for our kids, offering support and advice. When a difficult issue arises, I always look to Chris for objective expert advice. He is also a wonderful resource for our parents and has conducted seminars for them to help prepare their children for a great camper experience."
  • Congressional Day Camp

    Jennafer Curran - Director
    “Through a natural infusion of humor, wisdom, and personal stories, Chris engaged the staff in a very genuine, personal way from the moment he arrived at Congressional Day Camp. The staff and the campers felt comfortable speaking with Chris as he walked around the camp and observed by participating in our activities. Thank you, Chris, for the time you spent with our administrative team at the end of your visit. Your candid observations and questions challenged us in a positive way. You left us all with practical strategies for future discussions and directions in which to explore and grow.”
  • Falling Creek Camp

    C. Yates Pharr - Director
    “Dear Chris: Marisa and I, and the entire Falling Creek team, were thrilled to have you here as part of the staff orientation and training! Lots of positive feedback indeed. Your topics and teachings were on-target and created much constructive conversation. We send our best to you and your family.”
  • Oxford Royale Academy

    Alex Read - Counselor
    “Dr. Chris is a legend! Inspirational, engaging, and full of incredibly useful leadership techniques. A lot of speakers make a few jokes, give a few tips, and it’s all totally forgettable. Dr. Chris actually understands the ups and downs of working with kids, as well as the intricacies of how staff work together. Memorable, practical, and very American (that’s a compliment!). Thank you, Dr. Chris!”
  • Camp Twin Lakes

    Dan Matthews - Director of Camping Services
    “Dear Chris: I cannot thank you enough for sharing your knowledge, passion, humor, expertise, talent, genius, knack, and GIFT with all of us! We will serve 3,500 children this summer, and each child will benefit from your time with us. On behalf of each of those 3,500, THANK YOU!”
  • Camp Timberlane

    Mike Cohen - Director
    “Chris is our *most effective* guest trainer.  He connects incredibly well with the staff. They listen to him and see his legitimacy because he also works as a camp waterfront director. I used to see having a guest trainer as an expense that I could competently avoid by handling our training with my admin team. And we do a great job. However, I am 100% convinced that a top-tier guest trainer makes a big difference for the staff, and campers. I highly recommend enhancing your staff training with an investment like this, and Chris is–in my opinion–as good as it gets.”