Curated by Hannah Patterson
Summer camp culture in the United States has long operated on the premise that campers take something important away from their time at camp, whether it is greater self esteem, improved leadership, or a sense of connection to the environment. At Miniwanca, our mission is to help people discover and develop their personal best, to seek balance in mental, physical, social and spiritual living and to make a positive difference in their communities and in the wider world. This is what we believe our campers learn and gain from being with us along with that self confidence, leadership and connection to nature. While these beliefs are common among those involved in summer camps, today’s article highlights research proves what camp people have believed all along.
Benefits of Camp Proven by Research by Catherine Ross looks at research conducted over six years by Dr. Troy Glover and others from the University of Waterloo and the Canadian Camping Association. In this research, the team discovered that campers actually do leave camp with improved “social integration and citizenship, environmental awareness, self confidence and personal development, emotional intelligence and attitudes towards physical activity”. With all the time spent in close community with others; time spent outside; conversation and reflection on self, others and the world; and all the games, fun, and independence to make their own choices it comes as no surprise to us that campers walk away from camp with so much.
For Miniwanca, these skills that campers leave camp with are also tied back to our mission. Campers are able to be their best selves and develop their religious fold when they have the self confidence to learn their own values and live them, and when they experience personal development. They seek balance in the physical fold when they improve environmental awareness and their attitudes towards physical activity. The social and mental folds are improved through emotional awareness, social integration and citizenship as campers learn and problem solve how to live and work together in a positive community. Throughout their daily life at camp, our campers are living out the mission that guides Miniwanca and gaining important skills to take into the rest of their lives.
You can learn more about Camp Miniwanca, watch our camp video, take the virtual tour and register for camp all at our website, www.ayf.com. We hope to see with us on the shores of Lake Michigan this summer!