This is the third in a series of four blogs. The first two describe two critical trends that have affected children in concerning ways: 1) parenting trends [LINK] and 2) the pandemic [LINK]. If you have not read them, I suggest that they will help you understand this blog and the next one.
In my previous blog, I shared that I want to scream the importance of camp from the rooftops. In particular, I want parents to know that camp has critical impacts:
I normally do not blog in the winter. Afterall, people are not thinking about summer camp, so during these months my blog happily hibernates like a grizzly.
In 1991, an Arizona facility called Biosphere 2 began a series of experiments. [Note from Susie Ma’am: Steve Sir can go off on the occasional tangent. You might wonder if there is a point. In this case, I can assure you there is one.]
“Our passion is to help every camper grow into the Champion he or she is intended to be.”
---Camp Champions’ Mission Statement
When I share our mission statement with parents, some ask me what we mean by a “Champion”. Some picture a camper draped in medals or one that wins a competition. We mean something different.
It is not often that I find myself at a loss for words, but such is the case as this summer begins.
Coming to camp often feels like entering another world.
There’s a magical quality to it. Time moves differently— we love saying that, at camp, “the days are long, but the weeks are short.” So much seems to happen in such a short period of time.
Last summer, we had moments where we worried some of that magic might be lost. The new normal that our world found itself meant that we had to make some significant adjustments. For a moment, it seemed like the world beyond the spur would worm its way inside, and some of that magic might trickle out.
Being camp directors in the age of Covid has twists and turns we’d never imagine. Last summer we were interviewed by ABC, NBC, and National Geographic. The Dallas Morning News published an op-ed piece we wrote. Last week, we got a call from The Wall Street Journal.
According to American Camp Association (ACA) records, last summer Camp Champions served the most campers of any camp in the US without a positive COVID case. This got the attention of Nancy Keates, the WSJ reporter.
Before you get excited, we only show up in one paragraph. But we were delighted to be a part of the article. It illustrated some excellent points.
This blog is written by Steve Baskin in response to Meg Clark's The Hidden Danger: Saving Our Children From Social Media.
First, I want to thank Meg Clark. In fact, I feel a need to thank her for many things. Allow me to share a short list.
14 years ago, a dear friend and exceptional camp professional named Meg Clark started a new camp called Camp Lonehollow - a rare and daunting task. From the start, we at Camp Champions felt a great kinship to Lonehollow. Like us, Meg saw camp as a uniquely powerful opportunity to help young people grow into caring, confident and contributing adults. She shares both our passion for teaching life skills (from leadership to collaboration to resilience) and our concerns regarding social media. Camp Lonehollow is now part of the Young Life family, but Meg continues to be a leader in our industry serving on the Board of the American Camp Association.
In a recent conversation, we simultaneously suggested the Netflix documentary “The Social Dilemma” to each other. We see it as a clarion call to parents and young people to understand their challenges (even threats) of social media. Since she is a thought leader without a platform, I have invited her to share her thoughts on the Camp Champions blog. Thank you for sharing your wisdom Meg!
See Part 2 of this series: Solutions For The Hidden Dangers Of Social Media