Does this describe your son?
- May be able to initially make friends but has trouble keeping them
- Trouble understanding social cues
- Doesn’t seem to connect with peers in social situations
- Will act silly to get attention from peers, even if it is negative attention
- Has difficulty “reading a room”
- Feels more comfortable communicating with younger children or adults than peers
- Tends to have one-sided conversations, talks at people about his interests
- Frequently interrupts others or says things impulsively, lacks a “filter”
- Can be inflexible, often says “No” to anything new
- Labels other kids with ADHD as “annoying” or “weird” despite the fact he acts like them
- Lacks understanding how he is perceived by others
- Has difficulty understanding other’s thoughts and feelings
- Labels everything except video games as boring
- Has a tendency to “police” other kids and tries to control them
- Had friends in elementary school but became more socially isolated when he got to 5th/6th grade
- Struggles in unstructured or semi-structured social situations but does O.K. in structured situations
Executive Function Skills
- Has a hard time sensing the passage of time
- Difficulty tolerating boredom and non-preferred tasks
- Needs constant prompting and supervision to get through things he doesn’t find interesting
- Struggles during unstructured times, will not take initiative
- Chronically disorganized, forgets or looses materials
- Has a hard time recalling how he performed a task in the past
- Difficulty with planning ahead
- Has a hard time self-monitoring himself (particularly when using screen devices)
- Becomes easily distracted and/or wastes time with trivial matters
- Focuses on small details and has a hard time getting the “bigger picture”
- Difficulty transitioning from one thing to another (particularly when playing video games)
Emotional Regulation Skills
- Appears to be several years behind in his/her social and emotional maturity compared to same-age peers
- Difficulty differentiating between “small problems” and “big problems”
- Has trouble letting go of things that bother him
- Difficulty when there are changes in routine or during transitions
- Becomes argumentative or explosive when told to get off video games/computer
- Has a hard time solving problems, wants you to solve problems for him
- Tries to avoid non-preferred tasks
- Makes self-defeating comments
- Does not understand how his tone of voice sounds to others
- Has difficulty with competition
- Low frustration tolerance
Contact us to begin the admissions process
Skills we teach during Summer Trip Camp:
- Learning to be flexible for the sake of being part of a peer group
- Improving self-directed talk (doing things independently, without constant prompting)
- Developing resiliency to get through non-preferred tasks
- Understanding how to be show an interest in others so they know you want to be friends
- Improving cognitive flexibility (being less “black and white” in thought process)
- Learning how to differentiate between what’s a “small problem” or “big problem”
- Being responsible for your belongings
- Improving perspective taking ability (understanding other’s thoughts/feelings & how you come across to others)
- Developing self-advocacy skills
- Cultivating and sustaining friendships
- Making a “future plan” in order to complete a task
- Cooking/Kitchen Safety
- Maintaining good hygiene
- Using past experiences to plan for the future
- Taking a leadership role
The skills we teach are based on the following methodologies and curricula.
Ryan Wexelblatt, Camp Director has more training in these methodologies than any mental health professional or Camp Director throughout the Philadelphia area and South Jersey.
- Social Cognitive Skills: Social Thinking® created by Michelle Garcia Winner
- Executive Function Skills: Based on the work of Kristen Jacobsen and Sarah Ward of Cognitive Connections Therapy.
Additionally, our approach to building social skills, executive functioning and resiliency is informed by the work of Lenore Skenazy (Let Grow) and Dr. Michael Gurian’s work on boys’ brain development.
Please contact us to discuss next steps:
Summer Trip Camp is unlike any other summer camp throughout the Philadelphia area or Southern New Jersey. We teach skills that are not taught at schools or camps.
As you may have learned through your own research, there are many camps that market themselves as “ADHD Camps” and “Social Skills Camps”, however, none (to my knowledge) actually teach executive functioning strategies and social thinking skills through an active, experiential program. Developing executive functioning and social competency are intertwined and need to be taught through a specialized approach that requires specific training and education in teaching these skills.
Summer Trip Camp is an active summer camp experience that combines daily day trips and two, (optional) 5-day overnight trips. We swim every day (unless we are on a full-day trip) and integrate nonacademic instruction in executive functioning strategies and social cognitive skills to help boys improve their social, executive functioning and age-expected independence. To learn more about the specific skills we teach please visit skills we teach.
Please note that there are only 10 spaces available in Summer Trip Camp and admissions is rolling thus early registration is highly encouraged. You may also visit our website, Ride the Wave Counseling to learn about the innovative services we provide during the school year at our office in Linwood, New Jersey..
I look forward to meeting your family,
Ryan Wexelblatt, LCSW
Summer Trip Camp and Ride the Wave Counseling Director
Please contact us to discuss next steps:
Summer Trip Camp was based in the Philadelphia suburbs during our first two summers. 2019 will be the first year Summer Trip Camp is operating at the Jersey Shore and we will be taking full advantage of everything the shore has to offer!
Day Trips and Activities
YouTube video production lessons
Stand Up Paddleboarding
USS Constitution Tour
Zip Line/Adventure Course
Executive Function Skill Building Activities (learning to cook, do laundry, plan ahead, time management)
2019 Overnight Trips
Week 3 Connecticut & NY
(Submarine Museum, Mystic Seaport, USS Nautilus, Staten Island Ferry and more)
Week 6 Northeast Pennsylvania
(Montage Mountain Waterpark/Attractions, Steamtown National Historic Site, Coal Mine Tour and more)
- Trips are subject to change based on weather, availability, etc.
- For the safety and security of our campers we do not post trip itineraries online. Itineraries are provided to registered camp families.
Summer Trip Camp is an electronics-free camp meaning campers do not bring smartphones, tablets, etc. with them to camp.
Please contact us to discuss next steps:
Summer Trip Camp runs from 9:00-4:00, Mondays through Fridays. Weeks 3 and 6 we are on (optional) overnight trips Monday through Friday.
Summer Trip Camp utilizes an experiential education model which means that our schedule varies from day to day. We are not a typical day camp where campers have the same activities at the same times each day. For the safety of our campers we do not post schedules online. A weekly schedule is sent to registered camp families.
Each day we do frontloading to help campers understand what we’ll be doing that day and in the next few days ahead. We know our campers like routines and schedules thus frontloading helps prepare them for the week ahead while helping to develop non-verbal working memory, a major area of executive functionin that is impacted by ADHD>
Sample Daily Schedule:
9:00-9:30 Arrival and *hang-out time
9:30-10:00 **Frontloading and backwards planning”
10:00-10:30 Independent Skill Building Activity (Cooking, Money Management, etc.)
10:30 Depart for trip or independent skills activity
10:30-12:30 Out in the community on trip
12:30 Return for lunch or lunch on trip
12:30-1:30 Lunch/hang-out time
1:00-2:00 Beach (or on trip)
3:00 Return for clean-up and snack
Aside from learning critical executive functioning and independent skills we teach campers the most important skill of all, how to successfully “hang out” with similar-age peers during unstructured times, which can be particularly challenging for boys with ADHD/executive functioning challenges.
Summer Trip Camp is an electronics-free camp. Campers do not bring phones, tablets, etc. to camp and do not go on computers unless it is for research purposes.
**Frontloading is an executive function skill building strategy to help improve non-verbal working memory (picturing the future and preparing for upcoming transitions).
**Backwards planning is an executive functioning strategy to teach task completion, goal setting and time management.
*Hang-out time is a time when campers teach other campers games and negotiate play. Unstructured play which is not directed by an adult is critical to improving social and executive function skills.
Please contact us to discuss next steps:
Welcome! I’m glad you’re interested in learning more about Summer Trip Camp. My name is Ryan, I’m a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, certified School Social Worker, Director of Summer Trip Camp and Ride the Wave Counseling in Linwood, NJ . I began my summer camp career at age 3 and have spent the majority of my life working at, creating and directing various summer camps and programs.
My initial motivation for learning all I could about executive functioning and social skills stemmed from my son who had his share of learning, social and emotional regulation challenges. When I began searching for local programs in the Philadelphia area to help him with social skills I discovered that all of the programs in the area were geared for kids with autism, which he does not have. Furthermore, no one was addressing executive functioning challenges aside from academic-related skills.
Diving head first into this field led to me creating a number of school-year and summer camp social learning programs. I opened my private practice, Ride the Wave Counseling (formerly Center for ADHD) in 2014 in Lower Merion, Pennsylvania.
I started Summer Trip Camp because the kids who I was working with in my practice did not have a summer camp option that met their needs. Their choices were to either attend mainstream camps where they would not learn important skills or attend social skills camps where they were considered the highest functioning kids.
Summer Trip Camp opened in 2017 as the first summer camp in the United States designed specifically for boys with ADHD to teach executive functioning, Social Thinking® and independent skills through an active program.
I am one of the few individuals in the Philadelphia area and South Jersey to have received a Social Thinking Clinical Training Level 1 Certificate of Completion. Additionally, I completed extensive training in executive functioning support strategies as well as Cognitive Behavior Therapy.
I have presented at national and regional conferences including the International Conference on ADHD and the Social Thinking® Global Providers Conference in addition to many regional conferences. I also maintain a YouTube Channel: ADHD Dude
I am originally from Lower Merion, Pennsylvania and attended Temple University for undergrad and Bryn Mawr College School of Social Work for graduate school.
Please go to upcoming presentations for a list of my upcoming speaking engagements and feel free to contact me to discuss how Summer Trip Camp can benefit your son. I look forward to hearing from you.
RYAN WEXELBLATT, LCSW
- Licensed Clinical Social Worker in NJ and PA
- Certified School Social Worker in NJ
- Certificate in Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Youth from the Beck Institute
- Received Social Thinking® Clinical Training Level 1 Certificate of Completion
- Extensive training in executive function skill development strategies
Please contact Ryan to discuss next steps:
What kind of results can we expect?
You son will develop a foundation that we can almost guarantee he has not been exposed to before. Mental health professionals, schools, camps, etc. do not teach the skills we teach. Parents have remarked how their sons have developed a greater degree of independence and flexibility through attending Summer Trip Camp as well as developing resiliency and independent problem solving skills. We provide parents support in learning the language and strategies we use at camp so you can continue to generalize these skills at home. We want to be very clear that there are no quick fixes when it comes to social & executive function skill development.
Who are your staff?
Summer Trip Camp is staffed by teachers or college students majoring in education who are under the supervision of Ryan Wexelblatt, Camp Director. Staff have been carefully screened to ensure they have the right temperament to work successfully with our campers and be able to teach concepts. Staff have obtained mandated clearances as required by state and federal laws.
I’ve searched all over the country and haven’t found anything like your camp. This is exactly what our son needs! Do you know of a camp like yours in (insert your city here)?
You have done your homework correctly! There is no camp like Summer Trip Camp operating anywhere in the U.S. If you do not live in the area your son can still participate in Summer Trip Camp. The Jersey Shore is a great place for a family vacation while your son attends camp. The neighboring beach towns of Ventnor, Ocean City (as well as Margate where camp is located) are popular with families. Many generations of families have spent their summer vacations in the area. We are happy to help point you in the right direction if you would like to vacation in the area while your son is attending.
My son has always attended a large day camp and doesn’t want to leave it. My sense is they tolerate him there but he hasn’t benefited in terms of friendships or skills. I know he won’t want to go to a camp if he knows it’s for kids with ADHD because he’s self-conscious about having ADHD. How do I convince him that this would be a great experience for him?
You can explain to your son that we do not sit around and talk about ADHD, social skills, etc. We are an active camp for boys who like to “learn while doing”. While we do have a brief instructional period each day, it is directly tied into our daily plans. You can tell him it’s a camp for kids who like being active and need a little help with the things their brain makes a little harder for them to learn. From a parent;s perspective-As bright as your son may be he does not possess the maturity or foresight to know what he needs in terms of skill development. You need to decide what is best for him at his age, even if he initially is resistant to stepping outside of his comfort zone.
Do you work on academic executive function skills during camp?
We do not believe in teaching academic executive function skills during the summer as their is no relevant context for them. Furthermore, the kids we’ve known who have attended academic executive function programs in the summer were unhappy with attending and did not carry over the skills they learned into the upcoming school year. We focus on improving global executive function skills such as planning ahead, improving self-directed talk and conceptualizing time.
Our son attended an overnight camp that was presented to us as for kids with ADHD. The counselors told us he was the role model for his bunk because he was the highest functioning kid. He felt out of place there given the severity of some of the other kids challenges. Do you have kids with more significant challenges at your camp?
Given their extremely high tuition, most overnight camps that market themselves as ADHD camps and social skills camps cannot be too selective because they need to fill beds. Summer Trip Camp is a small program specifically for boys who present with ADHD and/or learning differences. We are not a special needs camp and are not designed for campers who are diagnosed with autism. If we determine that a camper would be better served at a camp with a greater degree of support we will provide the family with referrals.
How do you handle medications during camp?
Most of our campers take medication which we will dispense. Please note that Summer Trip Camp does not have a nurse on staff given our small size thus we are not a camp for campers who have significant medical needs.
Where do you stay on overnight trips?
We stay in hotels or college dormitories. Parents receive a trip itinerary including address and contact information for everywhere we stay. An email is sent out each night and photos are posted on our photo site. During overnight trips campers are grouped in rooms of 3-4. If campers do not want to share a bed they can bring a sleeping bag. (Very few campers have ever used their sleeping bags when they’ve brought them).
Can we attend weeks that are not consecutive? We have a family vacation planned for one week.
Absolutely, this happens every summer and works out fine when the kids return after being away.
Contact us to begin the application process:
Please contact us to discuss next steps, we look forward to speaking with you.