The Brains of Emerging Adults, Risk Taking, and the Consequences for Camps

Risk management in the camp profession often means rigorous tests of equipment, detailed training for staff, and preventative measures to eliminate risk. Yet, we often fail to take into account the developmental stages of most staff and how this can impact the level of risk within the camp setting. Most summer camp staff are in their late teens and early twenties — a time of life that is becoming commonly referred to as "emerging adulthood." It is the time of life when many young people are creating their identity, exploring sexual relationships, and deciding on future life goals.