more_benefits_summer_campWe’ve been sharing numerous benefits of summer camp on this blog – and now we’re going to discuss another perspective, that of Dr. Stephen Fine. Dr. Fine is the director of a summer camp in Canada, and he has researched the benefits of summer camps related to:

  • Physical fitness
  • Socialization
  • Personal growth
  • and more . . .

Here is more from Dr. Fine and supporting evidence from other sources.  

Physical fitness

“When you go to camp, children are going to get fit,” he says. “During the school year, children sit at their desks, watch television, and ride in cars. There’s no opportunity to walk around naturally. At camp, the very act of constantly being in natural movement makes you fit on a day-to-day basis routinely. On top of that you’re going to be swimming, climbing or playing sports.”

Dr. Fine brings up a crucial point as the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (CDC) reports that nearly half of young people aged 12 through 21 are not “vigorously active,” with their physical activity sharply declining during adolescence. If a child incorporates physical exercise into his or her day and maintains that practice, though, there are numerous long-term health benefits, with the CDC listing the following:

  • reduced risk of premature mortality 
  • reduced risks of:
    • coronary heart disease
    • hypertension
    • colon cancer
    • diabetes mellitus
    • depression and anxiety


Back to Dr. Fine! He points out that, “When you’re a skinny 12 year old you might feel a little insignificant. That feeling disappears at camp because you’re with your peers and camp leaders who are young enough to relate to.” 

The American Camp Association shares that younger campers benefit most from the “enhancement of self.” The writer adds that the “positive results across all ages suggests that camps with a self-enhancement focus provide for the positive self-esteem development needs of all youth” and “this foundation would allow the individual to adjust more easily to changes in their personal environment and consequently increase the likelihood of the individual adopting healthy living habits through the difficult period of adolescence.”


According to Dr. Fine, “Summer camp is an opportunity for kids to learn they can exist outside the home without their parents taking care of every need all the time. It gives them an opportunity to do kids’ stuff.”

But, what about homesickness? If your child feels homesick, shares a way to explain homesickness – along with ways to combat it. One recommendation to share with your child is to keep busy. “The more fun stuff you do,” the site recommends you tell your child, “the less time you'll have to feel homesick. Try to join in activities wherever you are . . . Even if you're not completely into it at first, you might soon start to have a good time.”

Here is another tip from to fight back against homesickness: “Sometimes, just telling someone that you’re feeling a little homesick will help you feel better. Maybe you can tell a friend that you feel homesick and the two of you can do something fun – like have a burping contest or tell each other jokes. If you're at camp, a camp counselor would be a good person to talk with. He or she might have some ideas to help you feel better.”

Find more information about how summer camp can help your child develop leadership skills, make friends, become more environmentally aware and develop core values from Dr. Fine. 

Summer Quest 2015 just started on June 8th! We’d love to talk to you about your summer camp needs.

Horizon Summer Camp