Summer Camp Makes a Lasting Impact
Summer time, the nostalgic feeling that washes over me when I think about the carefree summers of my youth is one that I’m sure many can relate to. Bike riding for hours, days at the pool, unstructured play outdoors in wild wooded areas and of course, no summer would be complete without some type of summer camp experience.
As kids, camp is a time for making lasting friendships, singing silly songs and stepping a little bit out of our comfort zones. The benefits and positive impacts that camp has on kids are far reaching and long lasting, extending into adulthood.
Each summer more than 14 million individuals attend camp. A 2007 study in the Journal of Youth Adolescence reported that 70% of parents in the study reported that after camp their children had more confidence and improved self-esteem. The formal and informal educational experiences of summer camp develop leadership and communication skills, build character, and equip campers to be involved citizens in their communities.
Meet Summer Camp Manager Lisa Hladio
For Lisa Hladio, Camp Manager at Venture Outdoors, summer camp was such a formative experience that she knew she wanted to have a career where she could create a similarly positive experience for young people. When reflecting back on ways that camp was empowering for her as a youth Lisa recalls:
“I remember learning that I had to brush my teeth on my own, that I could make decisions about what I wanted to eat at lunchtime. I remember feeling empowered when I finally conquered an element on the ropes course, even thought my legs were shaking the whole time.”
Lisa’s Summer Camp schedule give campers structure while also reinforcing a sense of belonging. Each program builds campers confidence and shows them that they are capable.
“The Venture Outdoors camp schedule provides a sense of structure that many kids are lacking in the summer months. There is a safety in knowing that we will have lunch after our ‘Mindfulness Minutes’ or that we will get to wind down with a popsicle after we bring the kayaks back to the docks.
Camp also provides opportunities to try things that we do not often experience in our daily lives. Learning how to build and safely light a fire might seem dangerous, but at camp you learn that you are capable of doing just that. Getting into a kayak and paddling into open water could be scary, but at camp you move step by step and with the encouragement of your peers and camp leaders. You figure it out and before you know it you’re a kayaker.”
Join Venture Outdoors Summer Camps
We offer a wide variety of summer camps where campers can belong, have structure and build their confidence while being actively involved in exploring the great outdoors. Our camps cover everything from biking, fishing, kayaking, hiking, geocaching, and biking. Plus plenty of fun games and nature exploration in between. The visible joy and sense of accomplishment we see from our campers when they master new skills or become comfortable with a new activity shows us that camp is a success.