What Is So Profound About the Camp Experience?

January 3, 2012

How do our camp experiences make such a profound difference in the lives of young people?

It isn't rocket science, although if you read the adolescent brain research you can understand why our communities are so incredibly successful. Or if you read what we know about hope and the human spirit — the camp experience makes sense. Consider the following:

  • Fundamentally, we still believe that having fun is an excellent way to learn. Fun, and specifically humor, is the highest form of abstract thinking. Fun keeps the brain alert and engaged.
  • We believe in the outdoors as a natural and incredibly dynamic learning environment. We are a part of nature and are soothed when we return to the intimacy of the natural world.
  • We understand that as humans we need real relationships and will seek them out and, in fact, suffer if deprived of human contact.
  • Finally, we value active participation at whatever level physically possible. We are human powered, heart powered, and organically designed to excel and thrive in nurturing environments.

The quality camp experience is single handedly unique in all of these attributes; and it is because the camp experience offers so much in these areas that I believe it plays a vital part in the preservation of the planet and children.