Why is camp thirty days long? That seems like a long time.
This is a common question. Because we are serious about helping. our campers make changes in their attitudes and behaviors, we need to give the process the best chance of success. If the issues you are hoping to help your child improve were inconsequential or ‘easy to fix’ they no doubt would already have been corrected.
There are programs that mention ‘social skills’ or ‘self esteem’ in their literature that only run 5-7 days. But our 50 years of experience have shown that kids need 2-4 days to settle in and adjust. They are then comfortable enough to work on learning and practicing the new attitudes and habits. Behaviorists have shown that it takes a minimum of 21 days to produce meaningful changes in attitudes and habits; that is to unlearn one habit and begin learning a new one. The more time the camper has, the more they can learn, practice, and change, and the more likely those changes are going to persist.
So is sixty days better than thirty days?
From our experience, generally, yes. Every fall we send out evaluation forms to parents to get their thoughts about any changes in their child(ren) after they return home. The information we receive suggests that while our campers make progress at camp, those who stayed for two sessions made more changes, the changes were ‘larger’ or more noticeable, and those changes tended to stick with them better.