Pillars of Hope

Our intimacy with nature – The camp experience is the best way to address nature deficit disorder.

The Nature Conservancy states we have grim confirmation that our youth spend less time outdoors. How can a child appreciate destiny if they have never seen stars in the dark of night? How can we hope today’s children and youth will help save the environment if they have not felt a gentle rain on their face? Exposure to nature allows children to develop appropriate attachments to places and spaces that help them better understand and become successful in their homes, neighborhoods, communities, and world. Nature experiences broaden children’s perceptions of themselves in relation to other human cultures and the biophysical world.

Our authentic human connections – The camp experience helps kids make friends and builds healthy relationships.

The Search Institute tells us that 48 percent of younger children don’t have a caring adult in their home or in school. When youth leave camp, they take with them newly formed relationships and interpersonal experiences that influence them for a lifetime. ACA research demonstrates that youth, staff, and parents believe the camp experience contributes to positive growth in relationship-oriented outcomes such as friendship skills, peer relationships, social comfort, leadership, values, and decision-making.

Our human-powered activities – The camp experience gets children up and moving with confidence.

A study by Indiana University and Ohio State researchers found that children gain more weight over the summer than during the school year. A child’s summer camp experience can provide the structure and activity needed to keep kids healthy year-round. Many schools today are eliminating recess and field trips. Camps promote life habits that support wellness, while society continues to move childhood indoors.