WorldView: A Language Blog

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WorldView Good Reads: The Power of Camp

Published: May 15, 2018

This month we are looking at the impact of a camp experience on young and old alike. We have found some good reads that offer insight and perspective on the “power of camp,” or a community-based learning experience.

The American Camp Association (ACA), a national community of camp professionals who represent the gold standard of quality camp programming, has recently directed much of its research focus towards social emotional learning (SEL) in camp settings.

  • Victoria Povilaitis, an ACA researcher, offers a two-part series on social belonging: first exploring why a sense of belonging is important to campers, and second, proposing ways to foster belonging in summer camp programs.
  • Lisa Westrich and Denise Pope, affiliated with Challenge Success and Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education, evaluate whether camp provides an effective learning environment to practice SEL skills in a two-year research project.
  • And here, Kim Sabo Flores uses the Youth Development Impact Learning System to discover how camps cultivate relationships, particularly relationships between campers and counselors that prioritize youth in positive, respectful, engaging ways.

An opinion piece in the New York Times showcases the value of devoting a summer to being a camp counselor. You can learn a lot about yourself as an adult by being immersed in a community of young people.

Camp is all about playing outdoors. The multiple benefits of outdoor play is showcased in National Geographic, with 40,000 schools around the world celebrating Outdoor Classroom Day on May 17.

If your camp experience includes sleeping in a tent, here are some short articles that demonstrate how healthy that is: from getting better sleep to the appreciating the value of simplicity.

Finally, here is a good summation in the RocParent (community newspaper of Rochester, NY) of the many benefits of sending a child to a camp, written by a parent who has done so.

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