Summer Camp Proven to Make Children More Resilient
Studies have shown, time and again, that summer camp can help children discover new interests all while becoming more social and independent. What the results have also shown is that summer camp is the ideal place for psychosocial development, helping campers become more resilient with each passing day.
Since summer camp activities encourage coping mechanisms, participants find themselves not just simply tackling a ropes course or building a fire, but learning how to get over a roadblock and come out victorious. There is some level of risk-taking involved and campers can either balk at these tasks or flourish. The most productive type of camping experience is the kind that offers a reasonable amount of risk and responsibility, dubbed “risk taker’s advantage”. Rather than appealing to every child’s wants and needs, camp counselors need to trust that their campers can find their way out of a tricky situation, instead of just giving in and solving problems for them.
Great summer camps foster resilience in these ways:
- Highlight Strengths – While it goes without saying that each camper will have different strengths and weaknesses, it’s important to find that one activity that they truly excel at and highlight how well they are doing. The more you focus on the positive, the more the student will too, which will increase their confidence levels.
- Boost Self-Efficacy – Since camp schedules are highly structured, it can help children feel in control of their surroundings which will allow for trying new activities and boosting independence. Whether that means trying and succeeding in arts & crafts or swimming, those successes will transfer over to their lives back at home as well.
- Fair Treatment – Camp gives children the chance to start fresh. If they are known a certain way in school, they can come to camp with a clean slate and a new identity. Since camps have zero-tolerance policies for bullying, children of all kinds can feel safe and be treated equally.
- Well-Rounded – Whether it’s taking part in a talent show or exploring art museums, campers can become more well-rounded and world-aware through these activities. A solid summer program should help your child expand his or her horizons, opening them up to new hobbies and interests they could have for life.
- Healthy Lifestyle – One of the best aspects of camp is how it encourages physical development. With all the fresh air, swimming, team sports, picnics and playtime, children can embrace nature and find the sports and activities that they are interested in. By encouraging healthy eating and fitness, it sets campers up for a change in mindset about simple yet significant decisions, like what to order for lunch or how to spend their free time come fall.
All these factors come together to help children become resilient, capable, problem-solving people, and these skills are useful inside and out of the classroom. If you would like to learn more about the benefits of summer camp, visit our summer camp program page. You can also read our related blogs called Failing in Order to Succeed and Tips for Raising Children of Character.