The Value of Summer Camp as an Adult

You remember what it was like: long days in the sun, swimming in the lake, or working with your hands. There were nights around the campfire or playing cards in your bunk. It was a season that produced enduring friendships and memories that you treasure to this day.

If the nostalgia is almost too much for you— good news! The joys of summer camp don’t have to be reserved for kids. Camps the world over are staffed by caring and compassionate adults who value community and connection.

The reason adults return to the same camps summer after summer are numerous. For some, the draw is a desire to offer meaningful experiences to the next generation of campers. For others, summer camp is a chance to slow down and revel in all that summer has to offer, a gift lost on most adults who spend summers in cities and behind desks. Whatever the reason for returning to summer camp as a staff member, the experience offers a dose of nature, nostalgia, and rejuvenation.  

Adults, here are some of our favorite reasons to dust off your hiking shoes and get back to summer camp:

Community: We all need community— even you, introverts! Connecting with another person emotionally remains at the center of what it means to be human. Summer camps offer an unparalleled opportunity to develop lasting friendships and connections that enrich our lives and offer us support and strength.

Life Unplugged: Digital detoxes are all the rage right now— and for good reason. In our increasingly digital society, it can be easy to lose track of exactly how we spend our time. We dare you to look at your phone’s screen time report. Do it now. Chances are, you’re averaging hours a day on your device. Imagine a few weeks of the year in which you can free yourself from the constant pings and tweets and distractions our devices offer. Bliss!

Reconnecting with Your Truest Self: Every adult knows that between work, family commitments, and the speed at which our society moves, it can be easy to lose sight of what makes you you. Which kid were you at summer camp? Did you shine on the stage in camp shows? Were you happiest in the water or doing archery? Take some time to reconnect with that kid, your truest self, who is still in there behind the emails and paperwork and dentist appointments. Let her out for a few weeks!

Interaction with the Natural World: Waking with the sun. Walking through the grass to the mess hall. Watching birds over the lake. Meaningful connection with nature is a true gift— one that summer camp offers with ease. Immersing yourself with the natural world can do wonders for your body, mind, and soul.

New Experiences: Between the new places and faces, summer camp is a release from routine. Routines are important. They can help us stay on track, meet goals, and ensure that our work and family life runs smoothly. But it can be equally important to give yourself an occasional break from that routine. New experiences remind you to pay attention, be astonished, and breathe deeply.

Fun and Play: Color wars, capture the flag, telling stories around the fire— summer camp is a wonderful way to relive fond memories and get back to what makes summers joyful. It’s easy for adults to forget how to play. Games allow us to connect with others and shed stress that often accompanies adult life. Grab the kickball. Let’s go!

Summer Simplified: Simplicity is important. Chances are, that email can wait, the thing you’re so worried about will probably take care of itself, and you don’t need to say yes to every single commitment. When we give ourselves the gift of simplicity, even for a few weeks, we open the door for deeper experiences and more meaningful connections. We give ourselves time to breathe and to appreciate the world around us.

But the best part of being a part of a summer camp family as a member of the staff is the unique chance to be a part of a transformative summer for a child, helping them grow in self-reliance, fellowship, and appreciation for the natural world. Which summer camp will you call home?

At Camp Health Consulting, we are passionate about working directly with camp directors, health care providers, and families to facilitate the safest summer camp experience possible.

If you are a doctor or nurse curious about spending a few weeks working at a summer camp, drop us a line. Camp Health Consulting is here to help you find your camp, your home away from home. Contact Camp Health today!

Tags: ,