Does going to camp really contribute to increased success in school? Our mission at camp is growth through friends and adventure, and we often talk about how growth at camp translates to growth back home, to the homes and schools of our campers. In addition to having fun and making lifelong friends, we believe Timberlake equips our campers with life skills that serve them well both inside and outside of the classroom.

It’s easy for us to say that as camping professionals, but what do our families say? We really wanted to know, so we decided to ask.

As a part of a North Carolina Youth Camps Association (NCYCA) outcomes study after the summer of 2015, we asked over 3,000 parents about their child’s experience at camp. The study reported, “An overwhelming majority of parents (91%) associated camp involvement with school success, and this association was reflected in how camp prepares youth for life transitions, how camp reinforces life lessons learned at home, and how camp prepares youth for independent living.” Additionally, our parents told us that camp led to “increases in developmental outcomes like resilience, cooperation, communication, critical thinking and decision making skills.”1

How can just a few weeks at camp really increase resilience cooperation and decision making? We believe it’s because camp provides our boys with a safe place to push themselves and try new things where those skills and habits are encouraged by outstanding role models. After all, nobody learns to roll a kayak without employing some resilience, you can’t win the Great Escape for your tribe without cooperation, and behind each successful rock climbing route or rocketry launch is a series of good decisions.

As we wind down our summer season, we are sad to see our campers go, but excited for the what they will take back home. You can have the confidence to make a new friend when you made 5 new friends in Little Piney this summer. And trying out for a team or new club isn’t quite so intimidating when you tried building model rockets or mountain biking the pump track. We’re excited about the role camp gets to play in the lives of our campers. Thank you for sharing them with us this summer.

John Menendez
Director, Camp Timberlake

1Source: Economic Impact Study of Organized Youth Camps in Western North Carolina, January 2011, NC State University.