How Kids Feel Being at Camp

Take a look at this photo from one of our Summer Rangers finales. The richness of feeling that comes with a culminating event is tangible in each kid’s expression. Although their way of experiencing the situation may be different, their engagement is evident.  

Why do kids feel so engaged in Summer Rangers?

We deliver the things they need to strengthen their self-esteem: a sense of belonging and connection, endless chances to contribute to small groups and the camp as a whole, and interesting ways to learn new things that they can then effectively teach to others. At every step, they are maturing in some way—mentally, socially, emotionally.

Throughout a typical camp week, campers love the flow of activity that is structured enough to feel stable but full of new ideas and activities that make each day feel vibrant. As they brew potions, dig for treasure, crack codes, create confections, and help with clean up, they begin to recognize how capable, valuable and connected they really are.

CITs enjoy all of the above and also benefit from focused attention and training. They take on innumerable age-appropriate responsibilities and opportunities to lead in big and small ways. This generous seeding of low-stakes opportunities to test their abilities allows them to lay the groundwork for their own unique leadership style.

Over time—days, weeks, years, kids may forget some specific details, but they’ll remember the underlying lessons and how this camp made them feel.
Happy. Energized. Challenged. Part of something. Valued. Supported. These feelings live inside of them and provide a wellspring they can draw on for the rest of their lives.

Looking ahead to Summer Rangers, we anticipate lots of opportunities to be flexible and to adapt our programming to guidelines laid out by our state, local and industry leaders. What we won’t bend on is our intent to let kids get back to the real business of being kids—learning, growing, connecting and feeling good about themselves. After a year of social limitations, being part of a lively, supportive community may be just what they need.