Camp Is College Prep

NBC News recently published an article entitled, Going To Sleepaway Camp As A Kid Might Prepare You better for College.  

Kenyon College vice president for student affairs, Meredith Harper Bonham, cites the constant interaction, negotiation and direct communication camp offers for helping kids with their transition. 

We asked summer camp expert, Daniel Hammond, Camp Director at Pali Adventures for his insights. Take a look at his guest post below.  



As a camp director at Pali Adventures, I dedicate my year to planning and providing the best camp experience for children throughout the summer. When the campers are at camp they are constantly having fun and enjoying all that we have to offer. While campers and their parents understand that camp is fun they are often not aware of just how much more they are getting from the camp experience. Parents will often call us once their child has returned home from camp to thank us and tell us about how much their child has grown as a result of their time at camp. Comments such as “our child is so much more confident, responsible, helpful around the house, able to express him/herself better” are all very common for us to hear in the month or two after camp.


The camp experience is so valuable for children because it removes them from the environments that they are accustomed to - family, peer groups, home, school – and forces them to develop their own independence, make new friends and learn what it takes to be a member of a group living environment. Developing these skills early in life undoubtedly prepares young people for their college experience.


While these skills may not directly raise test scores they are likely to ensure that new college students adapt to the college environment quickly and prevent them from encountering common freshman problems such as dealing with stress, roommate issues, homesickness or the added responsibility of college life. 

While I have seen many campers return to camp year after year grow into responsible young men and women and head to college ready to take on the world I also regularly employ young people that were never lucky enough to have a camp experience growing up gain just as much from the camp experience as the campers do while working as a counselor. These staff members return to school in the fall as much more confident individuals and after being responsible for the well-being of up to ten young people each week through the summer college suddenly seems a lot less daunting. Camp has so much to offer all who attend and I am constantly blown away by the differences that we make in the lives of the people we are lucky enough to work with.