Summer Camp and Children’s Mental Health

Dear Parents and Friends,

On Friday I will be attending a workshop on Mental Health for Camp Leaders. The North Carolina Youth Camp Association is sponsoring this event by bringing in two speakers that will discuss these issues with camp owners and directors.  This is a topic that has received a fair amount of attention in our industry and the field of education at the national level in conversations and workshops over the past couple of years.

While summer camp is certainly not a cure all, we definitely know that it greatly benefits the overall mental health of children who attend.  Studies have proven the effects of playing in nature, being away from the “screen life”, collaborative living, positive role modeling, under-scheduling instead of over-scheduling, gaining resiliency and much more.  Each year we all see the effects of the complicated choices and lifestyles that children are exposed to.  Some of those choices pull them in directions that aren’t always what’s best for their own mental and physical well being.  Camp is a safe haven where they can thrive, guided by young adult role models through their camp journey and toward positive measurable outcomes (more on that in a later post here).Airstrip biking

The American Camp Association recently  published an article on Anxiety and the Importance of Play: An Interview with Shimi Kang, MD.  Just click on the title and you’ll be taken to the article.  After reading this, I think it’s something our parents would be interested in.  I hope you enjoy it and hope your new year is off to a great start.