Summer can have many purposes. It can be an experiment, a vacation, a learning experience or a discovery. But anyone who has gone to camp every summer would know that it combines all of these in one.
In a town where camp is a popular summer activity, there are varying stereotypes that come along with it. Some associate camp with a summer activity for entitled kids, who escape for the summer into an idealistic world. But others feel that camp is a place for growth, an experience that develops individuality and teaches important life lessons.
Personally, after going to camp for the past eight summers and visiting many other camps, I feel that both of these stereotypes can be verified.
Costing around $10,000 per summer, a full, seven week summer camp is a privilege for any kid whose family can afford it. In certain circumstances, this cost can mold camp into a bubble, a controlled environment made up of people brought up in a similar way. Many times, there’s not much diversity and it’s atmosphere is far from that of the real world.
However, summer camp is incredibly effective in that it develops individuality and fosters positive social interaction. Despite its confined environment, the takeaways from the camp experience are applicable in every aspect of life.
Persevering through exhaustion to conquer the mountain or experimenting with an brand new activity, camp incorporates all in one.
But it’s not only a process of learning; the lifelong friends and indelible memories are invaluable rewards. They are the motivation for camp, and are the primary factors that drive kids to camp year in and year out.
In a technology-less, non-judgmental setting, there is a simplicity about life that is unmatched anywhere else.
Although I won’t be able to escape here this summer, the memories and skills that I will take with me will last forever.