How Camp Can Be Beneficial for Young People in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

As the pandemic approaches the start of its third year and we adapt our programs and our lives to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 variants and subvariants, demand for day and overnight camp experiences is soaring. I am deeply impressed by the tremendous work camp professionals are investing to strengthen capacity, manage costs, hire staff, and operate their programs safely at greater scale to meet the public’s need.

Positive Risk-Taking at Camp — Why Does It Matter?

The COVID-19 pandemic has tested the resilience in each of us. Years of studies around resilience reveal that the quality of our relationships when we are young, especially with parents and caregivers, plays a crucial role in how we manage difficult situations later in life. As we learn and grow as young people, we develop resilience tools such as optimism, cognitive and emotional flexibility, and social connectedness. In good times and bad, it’s important to help parents, educators, and especially campers understand how camp experiences help us forge greater emotional resilience.

Moving Forward Together — September 2021

Heroic camp professionals across the country deserve the heartfelt thanks of a grateful nation for their exceptional leadership and dedicated service to millions of children and youth in this historic time. 

Moving Forward Together: July 2021

You will teach them to fly, but they will not fly your flight.
You will teach them to dream, but they will not dream your dream.
You will teach them to live, but they will not live your life.
Nevertheless, in every flight, in every life, in every dream,
The print of the way you taught them will remain.
– Mother Teresa

Dear Friends:

Moving Forward Together: May 2021

I am filled with excitement and optimism about the approaching camp season. 

Managing COVID-19’s Social-Emotional Toll

As we begin our second year within the COVID-19 pandemic and head toward summer 2021, it is especially critical that camp professionals focus on resourcing a supportive camp culture that helps campers and seasonal staff practice identifying and managing their emotions and the emotions of others.

Summer 2021: Camp Is Exactly What Young People Need

Throughout this past fall, reports have been flowing in confirming what many parents, teachers, and camp directors already intuitively knew — the COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative effect on our youths’ mental health (Leeb, Bitsko, Radhakrishnan, Martinez, Njai, & Holland, 2020). During this time, mental health providers have documented increases in both anxiety and depression. All this angst and uncertainty is affecting young people differently than adults.

Camp Is Essential in an Age of Screens

Camp has never been a more critical part of Generation-Z’s year-round learning landscape and core social and emotional development. Just prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Pew Research Center surveyed parents across the United States about the impact of technology on their children and parenting. The results will not be surprising to camp professionals and other educators.