Admissions & enrollment
Empowered Wellness is about giving teens and young adults the knowledge, skills and confidence to reach and maintain their best weight -- the weight where they're happiest and healthiest.
It's actually an approach that's perfectly appropriate for any human being, regardless of age OR weight.
We don't focus on the number on the scale. Instead, we help teens and young adults better understand the links among thoughts, feelings, actions, behaviors and weight.
Our approach empowers campers with the cognitive-behavioral life skills to respond in healthy ways to stressful or challenging situations, gives them practical knowledge and strategies for making smart food choices, and helps them find ways to be active that they LOVE!
That's also why Empowered Wellness is the only weight loss camp whose tuition INCLUDES 12 months of free after-camp expert support by phone or email. Our trained clinical team is on staff year-round so we can support you when you need us. No other camp provides this.
We KNOW that "real life" and weight loss camp aren't the same -- and when new challenges bubble up, we're committed to helping you solve them.
Fat camps, on the other hand, focus almost exclusively on the number on the scale -- in other words, "How much weight can I lose, how fast?"
This approach often leads to body image issues, dysfunctional eating behaviors, and feelings of shame or guilt. Fat camps often incorporate unrealistic and unsustainable calorie or food group restriction and intense, prolonged or extreme exercise that few people would care to continue after camp.
The result for most campers is rapid weight regain once camp ends, they return to their pre-camp routine, and the weight spiral resumes.
Fat camps generally don't teach cognitive-behavioral life skills or provide one-on-one after-camp care with licensed therapists and other clinicians. If they do provide these services, they usually charge extra and/or make them available on a very limited basis. Yet without new skills and after-camp support, sustainable change that helps you feel happier, healthier and more confident is unlikely.
Sometimes kids or parents hesitate simply because they're not sure what to expect -- which is perfectly natural.
Other common reasons:
- The feeling that nothing they've tried seems to help for very long
- Feeling awkward about attending a camp that includes weight loss
- Worries about missing their family, and being missed
As long as your camper is open to seeing participation as an opportunity and willing to give it a try, they'll fit right in.
First, feel free to get in touch with our extremely experienced admissions team about your specific concerns. Give us a sense of your story and your concerns. If you wish, we're happy to speak directly with your child.
You can count on us to share our honest insights and experiences so you and your son or daughter can make the best decision.
A good way for you and your child to think about this decision is to consider how they feel at their current weight.
What would life be like if they felt healthier?
What goals could they accomplish?
How might they feel different? These questions help point you and your teenager or young adult towards concrete action.
Camp participants find so much hope, community, and enjoyment when they're in a supportive environment with others who share their interests, concerns and priorities.
They learn new skills, achieve dramatic improveements in mood, outlook and self-esteen -- while having fun and making friends for life!
It's very rare that this happens. Most campers adjust to their new setting very quickly, within just a few days.
However, if you’re unsure about whether your camper will thrive in the camp environment or may strongly wish to leave camp early, cancellation insurance can provide additional peace of mind.
Cancellation insurance is available for 15% of the total camp tuition cost. It must be purchased no later than eight days before your camper’s session starts.
This policy entitles you to a pro rata tuition refund for any days missed by your camper.
Yes. Boys and girls occupy different sections of our secure camps. Teen campers hang out with other teen campers, and our college-age campers participate in activities with other campers their age.
Of course. If your child has a known health issue, just talk to Jess, our Director of Admissions, about your child’s specific situation.
Generally, if your teenage son or daughter, or college-age camper can walk unassisted and is not experiencing an acute physical or mental health crisis, they can attend Empowered Wellness camps.
To ensure the safety of our staff and campers, we cannot admit campers who have a history of significant oppositional behavior or violence.
If your child requires daily prescription or over-the-counter medication – for example, for Type 2 diabetes, asthma, or high blood pressure -- our onsite registered nurse will store the medication and administer it daily.
Your tuition is all-inclusive. It covers everything except any medical treatment your child may need while at camp, and discretionary souvenir purchases.
- The comprehensive science-based Empowered Wellness program including all one-on-one and small group coaching, life skills training, and nutrition and culinary workshops
- All activities including day trips to Disneyland, Universal Studios and Santa Barbara's Channel Islands
- An in-depth and personalized At-Home plan to help your camper continue their momentum after camp ends, plus their own personalized cookbook
- Twelve months of on-call support from our professional clinical staff and child development specialists
- A special Three-Day Family Weekend, including all meals, snacks and activities at no additional charge
All tuition payments are non-refundable.
If this is a concern, our Cancellation Protection option may give you additional peace of mind.
Cancellation Protection entitles you to a pro rata refund of your tuition payments for all days missed by your camper for any reason. This includes decisions not to attend after enrolling and early departures for any reason, including your child's personal preference, illness, or family emergency.
Cancellation Protection costs 15% of your camp tuition. It must be purchased no later than 8 days before your camper's session starts.
Please let your Admissions Counselor know if you'd like to purchase Cancellation Protection.
A $500 non-refundable deposit is due when you complete the application form.
Your admissions counselor will review the tuition payment schedule with you when you enroll your son or daughter.
Empowered Wellness accepts Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover and Diner's Club or ACH payments from your designated bank account.
The Empowered Wellness program
We know this is important to our families.
We know from research and experience that when you focus on consistent behaviors that nourish your body and mind, and stick to those behaviors diligently because they make you think and feel your best, weight loss happens naturally and without struggle.
While every camper is unique, focusing on these consistent behaviors is usually associated with an average weight loss of four pounds per week while our campers are with us.
Every camper is different, and feeling starved or deprived never helped anyone stay at a healthy weight, so we don’t use very-low-calorie meal plans or assign a “one-size-fits-all” calorie level.
At meals, each camper receives a reasonably-portioned, nutritionally balanced plate. It includes lean proteins, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats – say, chicken, green beans and couscous. It’s the same food that our staff eats, in fact!
Campers and staff then choose additional foods based on their hunger levels from the Camper’s Choice food bar. It includes lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, condiments, toppings, and sauces, soup, and additional proteins like cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, and scrambled egg whites.
This unique feature empowers campers to choose additional food if they still feel hungry. It also encourages mindful eating and lets them practice the new life skills and healthy habits they’re learning.
Yes, we're generally able to handle vegetarian, gluten-free and other common dietary requirements.
Please discuss your camper's specific dietary concerns with our Admissions staff during the enrollment process.
We are not drill sergeants and this is not a bootcamp that requires unhealthy and extreme amounts of exercise from our campers.
Our motto is "Challenge by Choice." Every camper's background and activity level is unique. Our staff is specially trained to work with campers who may not have been active in a while, always prioritizing safety, injury prevention, and helping campers feel comfortable in new situations.
All campers and staff wear pedometers to count steps. Every day at camp is naturally active, and we provide plenty of both structured and informal opportunities for kids to try lots of different activities. Our goal is to help them find a form of physical activity that they'll really enjoy, so they want to keep doing it after camp.
We build in plenty of rest and relaxation, too -- because that's an equally important part of wellbeing.
Our campers have a variety of fitness levels. Safety is our top priority. Our staff is highly experienced in working with inactive and less active teens and young adults as well as those who are quite active.
We work closely with our campers to ensure that they start camp activities at a level that's safe and consistent with their current fitness.
We're here to help everyone succeed and find activities they actually enjoy doing and will look forward to continuing after they return home.
We know that sticking to new life skills and daily healthy habits is harder back home than it is a camp. At camp, you're in a setting that's designed to make it as easy as possible to practice what you're learning.
Once you're back home, spending your days at school, friends' houses and so on, it can be tougher.
Here's how we help you stay on track:
While you're here, you'll practice your new skills and daily habits all the time. Over time, that helps turn them into natural behaviors that you don't have to think consciously about.
Your camp tuition also includes a special Three-Day Family Weekend, so that everyone in the family has the opportunity to learn about and practice Empowered Wellness principles.
Next, you and your coach will put together your own in-depth personalized At-Home Plan, tailored to your specific needs and goals.
You'll also create and take home your own one-of-a-kind customized cookbook with all your favorite recipes and cooking tips.
And best of all: you can phone or email our year-round experts AT NO EXTRA CHARGE. When you have questions, or need help figuring our a new challenge, just reach out!
While my child is at camp
Of course! In fact, your camper's tuition includes at no additional charge a special Three-Day Family Weekend that includes all meals and snacks plus fun activities that introduce you to the principles of Empowered Wellness.
Absolutely. Although cell phones aren't available during the day's scheduled activities, campers often have time available in the evening when they're free to use their phones if they wish.
You'll get regular email updates from our camp director. Tuition also includes an online parent portal and we regularly post photos and camp updates during each camp session.
You'll also have access to our private Facebook page where we post updates while camp is in session.
You can also click the "Following" button at the top of our page and select "See first" so that our posts and updates are always at the top of your Facebook newsfeed.