Camper sitting in tent

How Summer Camps Teach Kids to Be Resilient

Camp Sequoia


Developing resilience in today’s youth is a critical stepping stone to helping them recover from failures, challenges, traumas, stress, anxiety, and adversity. Without the fear of disappointing their loved ones, resilient children are able to thrive and take healthy risks to encourage their social and emotional growth. Resilience is more than the ability to bounce back from misfortune; it’s an optimistic mindset. Resiliency ensures that a child is not the sum of their mistakes, as adaptable adolescents can use past failures to springboard into future successes. From a poor quiz grade to missing the winning basket or getting stage fright at the school play, our formative years often are rife with blunders. Teaching children to not be held down by past errors is a key lesson summer camp can help develop. Oftentimes we see kids who catastrophize one interaction and hang their entire sense of self-worth on one perceived social faux pas. The staff at Camp Sequoia are specifically trained to help kids, “get out of their own way” and experience the confidence and resiliency that comes with social success. 

New Relationships with Both Peers and Adults

For our campers, social relationships are often an area of low resiliency, as past social failures (or perceived failures) lead to a fear of future friendships following similar paths. However, with our staff trained to scaffold relationships and teach our campers to overcome social difficulties and mend disagreements or misunderstandings, our campers develop social resilience and confidence. Through this process, our campers can break any negative cycles and apply new social tools to grow socially and develop long-lasting friendships.

Research shows that there are notable positive correlations for resiliency in individuals with strong interpersonal relationships. This makes sense intuitively, as children who have someone to talk to when they experience adversity are more likely to recover from the blow than those who feel like they must bear their burdens alone. Through constructive relationships and encouragement, kids who feel supported are more likely to step out of their shell and try new things.

Specifically, Camp Sequoia sets campers up for success in the intentionality of program offerings. Campers self-select activities before arrival at camp. This serves to put kids who have similar interests and who are in the same age group together. This fosters immediate social connections and eliminates difficulties of kids feeling like they “have” to go to a certain activity that they don’t like, simply because it is on the schedule for all kids of the same age. Further, this eliminates camper frustration that can present itself if a child were scheduled to go to underwater basketweaving first thing in the morning and this was an activity that they didn’t like. As professionals working with kids, we recognize that having a child start off on the wrong foot in a non-preferred activity can set a negative tone for the entire day. That’s why we specifically avoid this pitfall at Camp Sequoia. With over 75 activities from which campers can choose, there are options for athletics, STEM, Art, Music, Theater, Cooking, Outdoor Skills, and many more– campers can always find their “people”, make friends and become more resilient. 

All Kids Are on the Same Level Playing Field

In school, every child comes with different levels of social competencies, but at camp, every camper is selected to be a part of our community because they have similar strengths and are working on similar things. In a new environment with empathetic peers, our campers have a chance to overcome challenges by approaching them in new ways as they’re supported by an understanding community. Our two staff to every five campers and small group experiences encourage our campers to experience personal empowerment, which we reinforce through our individualized program. Whether it be through a reward trip with Head Counselor Bill, a standing ovation at the Talent Show, an opportunity to speak at evening activity or in Social Group, or a voice on our division-elected camper council, we validate our campers and provide them with opportunities to build their confidence and resilience that lasts far beyond the time that they spend at Camp Sequoia.

Camp Provides Everything Kids Need for Healthy Development

From diverse activities to emotional support to social development, our program supports our camper’s growth academically, physically, emotionally, and socially. We aim to help our campers become the best version of themselves in our inclusive community. At Sequoia, every camper can feel the freedom to be themselves and try new things in a structured environment. Building resiliency during the summer allows our young men to take the lessons they learn with us and apply them to their relationships, challenges, and stresses during the academic year. We are proud to work with a variety of school divisions who support our programming during the summer for their kids because of the demonstrated transferability of these skills to the home and school environment.  

Enroll Your Son in Summer Camp at Camp Sequoia

Interested in our immersive program or interested in contacting us for more information? Our director, Brian Lux, would love to speak with you to determine if we are a good fit for your son(s) this summer. We do personality virtual tours with a 360 look at campus and conversations about programming, goals, and aspirations. Dr. Lew and the team will communicate with you throughout the summer on social resiliency growth and you’ll receive an end of summer report on outcomes and recommendations. The first step to an amazing summer is with our application process. This is as easy as filling out our enrollment form!