The Camper’s Prospective
Many young adults get excited about getting out of the house during the summer, getting away from their parents, and seeking the opportunity to meet new people while exploring a new place. However, it’s not as easy as saying “this camp is for me” and setting out on an adventure.
From the prospective of a camper (in this case, a young adult) camp is all about new people and new places. Many campers acknowledge that the top three reasons they want to go to camp are:
- To leave their “boring” home town
- To have a summer “fling”
- To learn a new art (rock climbing) or participate in a hobby (horseback riding)
Summer camps are a great way to introduce young adults to a whole new set of experiences. They get to sleep away from home, do their own laundry, eat new food (that may or may not be to their liking) and interact with a variety of new people. This can help to build confidence in the camper and prepare them for other experiences they will encounter in life.
The key that many summer campers need to remember is this: it isn’t a vacation, per se. Summer camps are typically very structured, rigid and highly organized weeks of activities. Realizing that the world is bigger than just the camper’s hometown may seem like an easy thing to acknowledge, but letting go and actually leaving can be quite the different story. Many campers become home sick and need reassurance that their parents/guardians are not just shipping them off forever.
Summer camp is a wonderful learning experience that can broaden the horizons of many that attend. Understanding a young adult’s fears about summer camp can head off many of the problems before they arise. It’s important that the camper is ready, willing, able and adequately prepared to leave home on this unique journey. Parents / guardians should be sure they attend to each need of the young adult, and should read as much as possible about the camp their child will be attending. “Always prepared” is a much better motto when thinking of summer camp than “ever confused”.
Summer camp is much like real life: there will be some highs and some lows, but in the end, most young adults pronounce their adventure a raving success. Finding ways to properly prepare the camper is vital to making their time “abroad” a great success. Consider the geographic location of the camp; if a potential camper is afraid of flying, then sending them to camp on the other side of country may not be a good idea. Likewise, if a camper has traveled their state frequently, then it may take some due diligence to find them an experience that stimulates their mind.
At the end of the day the camper has to be comfortable with the decision to leave “home” and spread their wings. Talking to and meeting the prospective camp leaders can be a huge benefit for everyone involved. Take the time to introduce the camper to as much of their experience as possible; this will keep everyone in harmony and help enrich the overall experience.
This article was written by Strong Rock Camp, a summer camp in Georgia, which is family owned and operated. Strong Rock Camp is a firm believer that positive influences in the lives of young man and women are vital to helping them secure their place in life and become a productive member of society.