Michael conducted a study in which he spoke to 300 camp directors about how to make kids more resilient to stress, and he discovered that summer camps are the perfect places for children to optimize their psychosocial development.
He concluded that camps help children develop great coping strategies when the institutions provide seven specific things that kids need:
One of them is new relationships – and not just with peers, but with trusted adults aside from their parents. Michael says being able to negotiate on your own with an adult for what you need will become wildly useful in future situations.
Another one is a powerful identity that makes the child feel confident in front of others. He notes that a child may not be the best on the soccer field, the fastest swimmer, or the next teen idol in the recording studio, but if the counselors are good, they’ll make it their duty to help campers find something they can do well and that they can be proud of.
Check out the rest of the list and some of Michael’s other published work on resilience!