Survey of 6,000 parents indicates they are eager to send kids to camp as families begin to think about recovery from COVID-19 and the impact of the past year
Many states are announcing that summer camp is on for 2021, and it appears that families are eager for their kids to have this quintessential summer experience. Most camps and conference centers have been shuttered since COVID began in March of 2020 and are ready to welcome campers and their families to their properties.
Christian Camp and Conference Association (CCCA), an organization serving more than 850 member camps who, in turn, serve approximately 6.9 million campers and guests a year, surveyed 6,000 parents to determine attitudes about summer camp as the U.S. begins planning for recovery from COVID-19. Eighty-six percent of parents of elementary school campers and 83% of parents of high schoolers said they will be registering their students for summer camp in 2021.
Parents were also asked about the impact of the pandemic on their families and the things that concern them the most. Sixty-two percent of parents of high schoolers said their stress levels are worse to significantly worse than they were prior to the pandemic. Of all of the concerns parents have in dealing with the pandemic, they were most concerned with the time their children are spending online and the time they’re spending in isolation with limited interaction with others. Mental health professionals are expressing concern about how the mental health crisis among teens has been exacerbated by COVID-19. More than half of the parents surveyed said they were ‘more concerned’ to ‘very concerned’ about their high schooler’s mental health at this time.
“I believe camp is going to be a great gift to families this year. Camp has always been good for kids, but the unique environment and activities offered at camp seem to be the perfect antidote to a year of isolation, worry and heavy tech use,” Gregg Hunter, president/CEO of CCCA, said. “Camp provides kids with a chance to get outdoors, try new things, experience adventure, overcome healthy challenges, build friendships and escape the pressures of daily life.”
Parents surveyed said they felt the time away from screens that camp provides is incredibly important and welcome (96%) as is the opportunity to become more independent (87%.) “Camp is the perfect combination of time in nature, time with caring adults, incredible fun, relationship building and self-discovery – a combination we desperately need during this season of recovery,” Hunter said. “CCCA members have learned a lot in the past year about protocols that will keep campers safer in light of COVID. We’ve hosted trainings and round tables and shared best practices. Camp leaders tell me they are ready to welcome campers and guests with health protocols in place.”
CCCA exists to maximize ministry for member camps and conference centers. CCCA offers a search portal that allows parents, guardians, churches and youth leaders to find a camp based upon activities, amenities and locations. Visit ThePowerofCamp.com to learn more.
“Professionals See Uptick in Teen Mental Health Issues Aggravated by Pandemic.” https://www.npr.org/2021/03/14/977215385/professionals-see-uptick-in-teen-mental-health-issues-aggravated-by-pandemic