Posted: October 24, 2011

Most of you know that I have been fascinated by the teen brain research. Lance Ozier (who has made contributions to Camping Magazine on the topic of the camp and learning connection) shared a fascinating article with me that he found in National Geographic Magazine, authored by David Dobbs. I highly recommend it!

I loved Dobbs’ article because it gave me a new perspective on teen brain development. We need not think of a teenage brain as simply “not fully developed.” Instead consider what Dobbs writes: “The brain undergoes extensive remodeling, resembling a network and wiring upgrade.” He talks about many attributes of teen brain development that explain why the camp experience is SO PERFECT for adolescence.

For example, Dobbs describes teens as a “highly adaptable creature[s] wired almost perfectly for the job of moving from the safety of home into the complicated world outside.” At this stage of brain development, the urge to meet more people and the love of novelty are high . . . there’s no better time to experience camp and all that it entails.

We are good for adolescent brain development!


Great article!

Thank you Mr. Dobbs for such a great and important article. Teen service trips, camps, etc. are all very important opportunities for teens to grow and develop their brains for adulthood. Parents are the best first choice but kids also need the outside environment and other adult leaders to help mold them into the adults they will become. I found this article fascinating!

Read and share!

When we find great external content that benefits the work we are doing--it is great to share our links and resources to create a collective voice in youth development!

I loved this article, too--here is our blog post about Teenage Brains: