This Caught My Eye – Anxiety and the Importance of Playing Outside

While skimming my emails this morning, hoovering over my cup of java, before my mind was fully awake this title jumped out at me. Anxiety may be a household word these days but it wasn’t when I was growing up. Certainly we see more children with anxious behaviors and camp is a great place to help reduce this because of routine, guidance from sincere adults in a community, outdoor play, making independent decisions and sticking to them, trusting others and gaining self confidence through the camp experience. As Dr. Kang describes in her article most children are missing what camps offer daily “Our children today are missing their daily dose of POD — play, others (social connection), and downtime.”* Camp Runoia has unstructured play time, rest hour and playful evening programs as well as structured activity time, meal time and team events. The balance of play and learning, the need for communication and expressing feelings at camp is described by Kang as CQ:

“CQ stands for consciousness quotient. This is 21st-century intelligence. IQ is what we’d consider logical, analytical intelligence, very important in the 19th century when we were memorizing facts and getting information from books. EQ is emotional intelligence and very important. But we need both to function with our whole brain, and that is CQ. There are key skills for the 21st century because our world has changed. There’s communication, being able to express your thoughts effectively and communicate across broad mediums; collaboration, which is the ability to work with and inspire others within a team from very diverse backgrounds; critical thinking, which isn’t knowing the right answer but knowing how to ask the right question; creativity, which has been identified by today’s business leaders as the most important competency for the future; and contribution, which is our connection, our meaning, our purpose.

IQ and EQ are no longer enough to capture these five skills because the world is so technologically driven, so fast-paced, connected, and ultra-competitive.”*

So, while we think of camp as a fun experience, at Runoia we provide children a chance to have an independent experience, build skills in activities, have face to face communication daily, unplugged/zero screen time, try new things without fear of failure, make lasting friendships, create a home away from home, camp is more and more the solution to an over scheduled, high pressure life that many of our children experience today.

*Anxiety and the Importance of Play, American Camp Association Magazine, by Shimi Kang, MD, January 2017
Posted in: Counselors Current News Parent
Tagged: a place where you are valued Best camp in Maine sleepaway overnight girls camp camp maine overnight girls camp runoia community find a camp in Maine Maine outdoors fun sisters for the summer summer activities summer opportunities