Why Kids Need Camp Role Models
According to the American Camp Associtaion, “One of the greatest treasures of a camp experience is the bond formed between campers and their counselors. Not only do campers receive a bounty of fun times and memories with their favorite counselor, but they also take steps on a developmental path that leads to a healthy, happy future.”
Camp role models can increase campers’ positive self-esteem. Stephen Wallace, MS Ed, school psychologist and adolescent counselor, conducted research and found that 46 percent of teens with a mentor reported a high “sense of self,” versus 25 percent of teens without a mentor.
In a New York Times online article, “Why Camp Counselors Can Out-Parent Parents” written by Michael Thompson, PhD: “Children love to learn, but [they] get tired of being taught by adults; [they] want to learn from older children (i.e. older campers, counselors in training, and camp counselors).” In this day and age, summer camp is one of the very few places kids can really do this.
Madeline Levine, PhD, author and psychologist, believes that “at camp, kids learn the value of relying on adults other than their parents”. By having “go-to” people out in the world provides a child opportunity to reach beyond their typical sphere. Levine also states that “kids who are capable of relying on other adults find success when away from home — for example, going to college.”