We are convinced that kids need camp: Today, like never before, teens and pre-teens are under tremendous pressure. Self-doubt, peer pressure, and a host of other harmful influences nag at kids every day. Even kids who enjoy a strong support structure face hurdles. Camp provides opportunities for children and young adults to pull away and catch their breath – catch a vision for the bigger picture of their lives and cultivate critical skills. They explore nature, participate in new adventures and test their limits by problem-solving, engaging in teamwork, citizenship and independent activity in a safe and healthy environment surrounded by caring and supporting adult role models. A growing body of research in youth development suggests that summer camps play an important role in the growth and development of the kids who attend. Results show that camp provides an opportunity for youth to GROW SOCIALLY, DEVELOP IMPORTANT LIFE SKILLS, and EXPERIENCE NATURE, all in a fun, hands-on setting.
We are convinced that long-term partnerships to provide long-term access to camp produces the greatest long-term impact upon the kids we serve: It is through our strength of partnerships with GREAT camps and aligned youth mentoring organizations that we can help to change the trajectory of the lives of the kids we serve.
This combination of elements, shared experiences and opportunities has a changing influence upon the kids we serve – it is the power of the camp experience, and it can last a lifetime, helping young people navigate the challenges ahead.
I was amazed at how much more mature and independent my son was when he came back from camp. He knows what responsibilities he needs to take care of and handles them. Learning has always been relatively difficult for my son due to his learning disabilities but this year he seems to be enjoying class more and is more interested in class. He has always been good about working in groups especially because he is the type of person to put other’s needs ahead of his own however I’ve seen a shift in the person he’s become in group settings. He used to be more of the supporter/helper but now he’s become more of a leader in group situations. I think the amount of confidence he has gained is incredible and it is helping him in so many different aspects of his life. It’s exciting seeing how he has developed and grown over the 5 years he has attended camp in a JACF Campership.
Measuring the outcomes of attending camp is an important piece in understanding the value of the partnerships that we have established together.