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Summer Camps And The Outdoors: Restorative Powers

May 2009

Summer Camps And The Outdoors: Restorative Powers

Summer is quickly approaching and summer camps are busy gearing up for the upcoming camp season. At the location of the Camp Channel’s main office in Ophir, Colorado (elevation 9,700 ft), summer is often described as two months of the year … with the other ten months being winter. An early June snowstorm is not uncommon and one in May is more the rule than the exception. Nonetheless, residents of Ophir and the surrounding Telluride area will often take advantage of a late season blessing of soft white powder and venture up their favorite back country skin track to get in a final fresh run on their skis or snowboard.

Making the most of an opportunity to experience the outdoors is almost second nature to residents of Ophir, Telluride, and the San Juan mountains of Colorado. The wonders of nature are immediate and accessible. This is especially true during the winters in a small mountain town; which are typically long, dark, and confining. Getting outside to go snowshoeing, skiing, or snowboarding is not only great exercise for the body, it’s an excellent way for the mind and soul to relax and find a connection with nature. During the summer months, a day hike or an overnight camping trip into a remote high alpine basin offers up a reality, which at it’s essence, is far removed from the routines of daily life and always being on the go; also enabling one to be untethered from the technological devices which many of us have become dependent.

I often find my thoughts are more lucid after venturing into the outdoors, even for just a short while. All too often, I will have been working on the computer for hours and hours, yet still be unable to solve a particular problem; however, after taking a break and going out into a forest of Aspen and Blue Spruce for a hike, a solution may suddenly dawn upon me. While the human brain is an extremely complex and evolved part of the human body, making the most out of it is often quite simple and obvious.

Summer camp can be an ideal setting for kids to break free of television and computer games and experience the outdoors in a social setting conducive to personal growth, introspection, and an appreciation of the outdoors. There exists a wide variety of residential overnight camps and summer day camps which offer both specialized and traditional camp programming.

Most summer camps are still accepting camper enrollments and will be happy to discuss session options which would be most suitable for you or your child. Also, many overnight summer camps and day camps are also still accepting employment applications for camp counselor jobs and other summer staff positions. Summer camp jobs can provide the same restorative benefits as well as other unique growth opportunities to individuals who may have spent the previous nine months studying at a college or university.