When the science of early childhood development discovered the important, rapid growth that takes place from birth to age eight, babysitting was transformed into a profession: early childhood education.
That said, early adolescence and young adult development continued on as the great mystery that often was explained away as a mental health issue, a judiciary concern, or the result of hormonal eruptions.
Yet today, with the science of teen brain development, we might be at the precipice of discovering the cogent, developmental pathway for those between the ages of thirteen to twenty-five. It is not a mystery to be explained away by some less than attractive causal factor. Instead, these years of in a young person’s life hold an incredible opportunity for growth and development — when nurtured and understood — that results in the emergence of a positive, productive adult!
Those of us who work with this age group should advance our knowledge and understanding, just as those in early childhood did decades ago. We should create a new public appreciation and demand for quality, expanded learning opportunities designed for this age group: the camp experience. We should shepherd an awareness for the value of our profession and its importance in creating healthy productive citizens for the future.
Photo courtesy of Cheley Colorado Camps, Estes Park, Colorado.