I wanted to do a deep dive into the values and benefits of summer camp, and I found them neatly organized in an article that “Ryan” wrote, “11 Lasting Benefits of Summer Camp,” in the Blog section of www.idtech.com. I found these benefits so compelling, I wondered how adults could enjoy them.
With a tip of the hat to Ryan’s categories, here are my thoughts on the many ways adults can harness the benefits of summer camps:
Builds unique interests: We can do this by pursuing our interests online through blogs, articles and other resources.
Reinvents and eliminates categories: This is easy to do when we focus on our interests. With technology today, we can reinvent a category with our own twist by researching online and seeing what is current and what is missing.
Allows for a deep dive into new skills: Learning a new skill is so beneficial at any age for memory and brain stimulation, keeping our interests and passions alive, and motivating us to apply new learning to enrich our lives.
Leads to a new type of friendship-building: The best way to build new friendships in a non-camp venue is to join groups based on your interests. The more varied your interests, the more varied the people you will meet.
Helps with mental stimulation and physical activity: When we engage in social activities, we stimulate the brain and enhance brain health. Joining a gym promotes physical, mental and emotional well-being as we meet like-minded people and possibly make new friends.
Reinforces independence and empowerment: Especially as we get older, activities that encourage independence and confidence help us to feel more secure and offer us a greater range of activities.
Allows for confidence to be reinforced by success: Throughout life, group activities that instill confidence move us towards success. Group reinforcement is a powerful motivator. Examples of group and team activities are volleyball, basketball, bowling, golf and tennis.
Leads to creativity, free of judgment: Creativity is available to us at any age. Taking up a creative hobby such as drawing, painting, writing, sculpting or designing brings our creativity to the forefront and allows us to see ourselves in a different light.
Builds all-around resilience: We build resilience throughout our lives by going through those times of uncertainty, loss and change. It makes us stronger and more able to move through challenging times.
Instills appreciation and gratitude: These are qualities we need to practice at any age. It is important to see the gift in everything. Appreciation and gratitude grows as we use them.
Is fun and entertaining (of course!): And yes, we can find fun and entertainment at any age, but many adults don’t make fun a priority. Doing things that bring you joy, and thinking like a child when you do them, can bring you a greater sense of freedom.
PATRICIA RASKIN, owner of Raskin Resources Productions, is media host and coach and award-winning radio producer and business owner. She is on the Board of directors of Temple Emanu-El.