When someone says “summer camp,” images of campfires, marshmallows, and scary ghost stories dance in our heads. We think about the way summer camp helps young people gain independence, make new friends, explore nature, gain valuable skills, and get out of the house during the long summer break.
For most “grown-ups,” summer camp is a thing of the past, trading cabins for cubicles and hikes for hectic work schedules. But there are so many benefits that kids get from going to camp that are valuable for adults too!
For YEA Camp in particular, as a social justice camp that helps aspiring activists make a bigger difference on the causes they care about, we see that what we do is just as relevant for adults as for youth.
Since 2009, YEA Camp has trained over 700 teens to get active and be more effective on the issues of their choice. Our program is focused on developing people’s knowledge, skills, confidence, and community — something that anyone on a change-making path will benefit from, regardless of age.
Here are 10 reasons adults need summer camp just as much as kids do:
Tap into a greater sense of your purpose
When was the last time you spent a week focused on cultivating your life’s purpose? At YEA Camp, our focus is on how to make a bigger difference in the world by reconnecting with what really matters. We prioritize the good stuff.
Camp bursts your bubble (in a good way)!
When we are accustomed to spending time with the same people, at the same job, and in the same community, we limit how we express ourselves. Stepping out of your bubble gives you an opportunity to experiment with new ways of being. This helps us to live into our most authentic selves.
Self-care, self-care, self-care
Despite being a ubiquitous buzzword, self-care — “the practice of taking action to improve one’s own health” — is super important. In the busyness of work and life, sometimes we take our own well-being for granted. This can have consequences to our mental, physical, and emotional psyche. At camp, we share ways to replenish ourselves and invest in experiences that will refuel our energy.
It’s the most fun you’ll ever have “networking”
Forget business cards or small talk. Camp is set up so that we can develop meaningful friendships through a like-minded community. From playful games to heartfelt discussions to late-night pajama parties, our adult campers leave with friendships that are much deeper than can be made at happy hour.
Time to focus on passion projects
When we pull ourselves out of your daily routines, we can actually focus on what matters to us. At camp, we spend a whole week exploring our activism area of interest. Setting aside intentional time for your passions can be an unforgettable experience with long-term benefits. Camp provides an opportunity to focus on passions that sometimes don’t fit into your busy schedule.
Shifting routines shifts your perspective
Speaking of getting out of daily routines, think of camp as a reset. Being in nature can help us clear our minds, refocus our priorities, and refresh our outlook. Think of YEA Camp for Adults as a well-deserved retreat — but with a talent show, a dance party, and activities that will help you see the world differently and take more effective action on the causes you care about when you get home.
Being in nature is paramount for our health
So many of us spend our days indoors, staring at screens. Being out in nature, spending time with animals, breathing fresh air, and engaging in healthy forms of movement are key ingredients to a vibrant life. YEA Camp for Adults takes place on the property of Woodstock Farm Sanctuary, a sanctuary for rescued animals whom we can visit with each day. There will be time for yoga, journaling, outdoor games or exercise, or just taking a nap under a tree.
We make “work” fun
Activism can be hard, and delving into serious topics can be challenging. YEA Camp makes it fun. We don’t force you to sit at a conference. We also aren’t big fans of stuffy offices. That’s why we do our activism training in between visits with the animals and meaningful community-building activities. At the end of the week, campers leave with a clear and tangible action plan on how they can make a difference on their chosen cause. Plus, they have a great time doing it.
The more we expand our outlook and perspectives on life, the more comfortable we can be in every situation. This can lead to endless new insights, relationships, and possibilities in any area of life. We think it’s true that life does indeed begin at the end of our comfort zone. YEA Camp is designed to help campers feel more comfortable going outside their comfort zone.
As they say, “pick a job you like and you’ll never work a day in your life.” At camp, we believe that finding the joy and fun in something real and meaningful will help you lead a more balanced and fulfilling life. Plus, camp lets us get out of a rut or initiate shifts in routine that can lead to creativity and new perspectives. Devoting a week to what’s most important to you is so valuable. At YEA Camp for Adults, we connect with how to apply your skills and passions. We want to help you make the world a better place in a way that inspires you.
No matter how old you are, it’s not too late to have a great answer to the age-old question, “How did you spend your summer vacation?”
YEA Camp for Adults is for aspiring activists who know they want to make a bigger difference in the world, and who want focused skill-building and leadership training in the midst of the playful world of summer camp. If that sounds like a great way to spend your summer, click here to learn more. And, of course, if you know a 12-17 year-old who wants to know how they can do more to make our world a better place, YEA Camp’s youth camp is the place to be!