Summer Camp Makes Kids Resilient – The Psychology Behind what Kids Learn at Camp!
This Wonder Wednesday, we share the findings of Dr. Michael Ungar, a family therapist, author, and researcher at Dalhousie University. After speaking to 300 summer camp directors, Dr. Ungar confirmed what we already know:“Summer camps, we discovered, are perfect places to help children optimize their psychosocial development.”
Beyond the standard challenges of playing Gaga and learning new activities, there are more essential skills that kids broach for the first time at camp, like learning how to get along with a new group of friends or just feeling comfortable making their own choices without their parent over their shoulder. These challenges are made possible by supportive counselors and fellow campers who help their friends accomplish more and become more resilient.
Summer camps help campers develop great resilience and life skills when they provide…
- New relationships with counselors and fellow campers,
- A powerful new sense of identity stemming from finding what campers excel at,
- The chance for campers to feel in control of their lives,
- Equitable opportunities for all campers and a place to feel safe in pursuing these opportunities,
- Good physical development with healthy lifestyles,
- A chance for kids to feel like they belong,
- And a better sense of culture.
These opportunities can be a shock for first-time campers! Sometimes all they expected to get out of a camp was a chance to perfect their Cannonball in the pool. Rather, at summer camps like Appel Farm, our campers learn to perfect their skills while becoming more confident, capable, and resilient versions of themselves!
At Appel Farm, we always focus on the physical and emotional Safety of our campers while emphasizing Personal Growth. In a non-competitive environment, campers learn to keep trying, perform often, and share how they feel with trusted friends and counselors.