We’ve always known that summer camp is a positive experience for children. Now, thanks to the Summer Camp Research Project from the Canadian Camping Association’s National Research Committee we have documented proof that camp has a positive effect on the development of young people.
Consider the staff working at summer camp. Your teen and young adult staff will experience positive change and development. Working at summer camp not only is fun and memorable, it is challenging and for some, life changing.
“I attended camp as a child and when I was 16 someone asked me if I would like to volunteer at camp for one week. That week turned into the rest of the summer, which turned into 6 years of on-and-off employment. I am forever changed by my experiences working at camp. I met my spouse there, many of my closest friends, and found a community I am still a part of today. Although I no longer work there, my experience working at camp continues to affect my life in a positive way on a daily basis.”
This story is like so many others and those of us who have worked at camp can relate to that testimony. Summer camps provide a nurturing environment where people are constantly challenged, encouraged, and taught new skills. Sometimes it can be very practical like learning how to canoe, and other times it is life skills like learning how to resolve conflict in a maturely and responsibly.
“You get to be outside all day, work with fun people, and help kids. You feel a real sense of belonging knowing you’re part of this big team that all have the same vision – to create an awesome experience for the kids at camp.”
Our camp staff can really build invaluable leadership skills. When given responsibility and trust they mature leaps and bounds in one summer. They build stronger social and communication skills, learning how to multi-task, coordinate, plan, program, and delegate – all of these skills will help them in future employment (if they don’t become a lifer and work at camp forever...which happens to a lot of us!) They learn how to further develop natural gifts and this practise is not only useful in the work world, but in everyday life.
“I always think about that summer I was the program director at camp. I use the same skills for putting together marketing strategies for my clients. It might not be as fun as planning crafts, wide games, and off the wall skits; but the skills I obtained at camp organizing people and executing creative ideas to achieve a goal are skills I still use every day.”
Life, play, and work in the great outdoors while helping children grow and learn. Develop a lifetime network of friends gaining practical experience for life and future employment. Become a leader who can think critically, manage others, solve problems, develop creative ideas, and who knows how to have fun! Summer camps are changing lives in the children who attend them and the people who work at them.
More at www.albertacamping.com.