Why summer camp? What is it about time spent in the great outdoors, with all your buddies, fun activities and no parents that could be so important? What is it about riding horses and shooting guns, canoeing the river and hiking the hills that impacts young lives so much? It’s no mystery. The answer of course, is the essence of summer camp.
With a century-old tradition, youth camps such as Camp La Junta spend the summer months changing young lives. Originally, as urban life grew, camping was simply a way to get city kids out into the country. Camps were loosely organized and very rustic. Travel to places like the Hill Country was difficult, so most camps lasted all summer.
More recently, as life has become more stressful and complicated for young boys, camp provides new opportunities. It is still a welcome respite from the rigors of urban life, but camp is also a place far from the pressures of urban life. There are no locked doors and alarm system codes to remember. You can play out in the front yard and not worry about drive-bys or pick-ups. Everybody plays and everybody’s important. Nobody sells drugs, or even gives away free samples. There are no Fs — not even any Cs. There’s plenty to do everyday, but no homework. It’s almost an ideal world.
A summer camp experience is an outstanding and secure way for today’s young people to pick up important experiences in independence and self-sufficiency. These skills are invaluable to a successful future!
In 1995, Dr. Peter Scales of the Univ. of North Carolina did a study which revealed the Seven Developmental Needs for kids to grow up and be successful. Summer camp is the only institution which provides all seven – in the same place, at the same time and in a well controlled environment!
Kids need summer camp. Kids need to be kids; and especially, Boys need a time and place to be Boys.