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How Our Summer Program Helps Young Men Manage Their Social Anxiety

Brian Lux

Camp Director

In a world where virtual is the new normal and socialization in person is accomplished six feet away and through a mask, hanging out with friends and making connections with peers has never been more difficult. Studies show that social anxiety is on the rise, as interacting with others can now be risky. Where once school was the best place to connect with others, the emergence of online schooling has put a strain on building friendships for kids across the globe. At Camp Sequoia, we put an emphasis on keeping our summer camp participants safe while providing them with a community where they can have fun and manage their social anxiety through face to face interactions, emotional support, and exciting outdoor activities.

Our Campus Is the Perfect Place to Socialize 

Studies show that students’ lack of interaction and social network isolation have negatively impacted their social health as stress, anxiety, loneliness, and other stressors increase in their lives. Naturally, this isolation can be attributed to lockdown effects and the uncertainty of the world around them. Residential summer camp provided a way for us to combat these rising trends in our campers. 

At Camp Sequoia, we provide a contained community, where every individual is tested negative and no one ventures off-campus without proper PPE. Through these measures, we created an environment where every young man could be themselves without fear of being near others. Thanks to our dedicated nursing and sanitation teams and beautiful, secluded campus, we were able to foster face to face friendships in a mask-free community without a single case or symptom throughout the 2020 summer. In addition to our in-person, covid-free community, we also provided additional layers of emotional support. 

We Provide Phenomenal Emotional Support

Emotional support is a crucial factor to help our young men reduce their social anxiety at summer camp. We had many outlets to support our campers this summer (and every summer) through discussion or coping tools. Our staff members were always present and ready to attentively listen to anyone who needed to talk, and we had numerous support staff available if they wanted to speak with someone outside their bunk counselors. Whether they found it best to speak with Dr. Lew, our licensed psychologist, Bill, who holds a master’s degree in counseling, or spend time with Xena, our camp support dog, our campers were always provided with considerate, understanding attention. 

We even were the first summer program to include innovative hippotherapy support to any camper who needed a creative way to cope, and many utilized these strategies to help them reduce their social anxiety. Through these outlets, our campers were able to overcome many of the negative emotions from this year and thoroughly enjoy their summer with their friends. Our offered activities also helped cultivate this positive mindset.

Nature-Based Programs Help Alleviate Anxiety

Much research has been conducted on the positive effects natural outdoor settings have on both social connections and mental health. The results of these studies point toward benefits nature and outdoor adventures have on interpersonal relationships and self-perception as participants in nature-based programs alleviate their anxieties. At Camp Sequoia, fishing, boating, soccer, hiking, camping, lake activities, frisbee, gaga ball, archery, and numerous other outdoor activities are integrated into our summer camp program to help promote our campers’ wellbeing, reduce social anxiety, and promote social growth. Every summer, we see the positive results as our boys create lasting friendships, and this summer specifically campers openly discussed how thankful they were for our program helping them reconnect with nature after being quarantined for so long at home.

Experience Our Supportive Community at Camp Sequoia

At Camp Sequoia, our program utilizes a multitude of sources to help our campers become the best version of themselves, and our safe and supportive community, emotional supports, and tailored programming underpin our success every summer. With the abundance of uncertainty this year, we invite campers to come join us for the 2021 season, as we guarantee a place where our leadership always has our campers’ health and well-being in mind.