Stanford Study Finds Long Lasting Benefits of Summer Camps for Teens
With over 15 years experience of running summer camps for teens aged 14-18 alongside our partner organizations around the world, we’ve seen first hand the incredible transformations that can occur when a youth is given the chance to spend just 1 week living in a supportive, creative and caring community. Parents and teachers often report back to us during the academic year, explaining the on going changes in confidence, motivation and social skills that they have observed in the young people who attended camp. As one parent told us “We have heard about ‘bits’ of her experience, but even without hearing a whole lot it is obvious that some sort of light within her has been kindled, she is more positive, more free in her communication, lighter in her attitude to life.”
That’s why we weren’t surprised that a new study led by Stanford psychologist Paul O’Keefe suggests that if summer camps for teens manage to create the right kind of environment for young people, the benefits will last long beyond summer.
The study followed a group of young students over a nine month period: before, during and after their summer enrichment programs. The study clearly showed that during the summer camp experience the youth made a strong shift towards enjoying learning for the sake of learning itself, rather than simply for the sake of making grades and passing tests, an attitude which some accuse schools of fostering. The best news however, was that the study showed these positive changes in attitude were actually carried back into the classroom with the young students, even 6 months after the camp had ended.
“To have one’s own teenager “wake up” like this in a week is beyond what I thought was possible,” said a parent after a Power of Hope summer camp. “He is truly changed, his heart is wide open to me and other people in a way I have not thought possible for his age.”
This summer our partner organizations will be running transformational camps in the UK, US, Canada, Uganda, India and Brazil. If you are able to help support our combined efforts in lighting the spark within young people then please consider donating to PYE.