Camp is an experience that strengthens one’s life journey; it enables, reinforces, and facilitates one’s ability to learn for life. It is a process of risks and mistakes that are meaningful and reflective — not a series of grades, scores, and tests. It is not about the right or wrong answer but the critical-thinking process that reveals patterns and alternatives. Camp is about taking experiences and adding language that not only expands understanding of self but of others.
Camp has become a part of the fabric of America — conjuring special memories of hiking, swimming, friendships, and adventure for generations. When children go to camp, they’ll likely come home gushing about the lifelong friends they’ve made, and the exciting adventures they had. What they probably won’t tell you about are the life lessons camp has given them — those skills that, if nurtured at home after camp, translate into a lasting self-confidence, an awareness of the importance of kindness, and a greater comfort in voicing their opinions.
If you were looking for me in the middle of August, you wouldn’t have had a banana’s chance at a gorilla convention of finding me. I was incommunicado, far beyond any cell phone reception or Internet connection, without a television or even a radio, and no sign of a newspaper anywhere in sight.
Last summer, my husband and I were designated to pick our grandson Corbin up at the end of his two weeks at Green River Preserve in North Carolina. We literally spent eight hours in the car with probably the perfect poster boy for camp — everything we hoped would happen did — he expressed compassion and confidence — pure joy and excitement — and I’m pretty sure he came away with all those noncognitive skills we want our children and grandchildren to develop.
The American Camp Association® (ACA) believes the organized camp experience is a vital component in the development and education of the whole child. ACA supports year-round educational opportunities and actively supports the extension of organized camp experiences to all children.
Camp provides children with the opportunity to connect with nature, to participate in human powered activities, and to benefit from personal and primary relationships. Because of Camp...® so much is possible.