Check out this great article from the NY Times about summer camp affordability!
We are thrilled to see summer camp affordability as part of the national dialogue in this recent New York Times article, “Summer Camp For All,” by Mara Gay. On the heels of F&W launching our ambitious Affordable For All Campaign, we were inspired to hear Gay illustrate just how transformative and healing the summer camp experience is for our nation’s youth:
“As much of the United States reels from the pandemic, gun violence and threats to its democracy, the summer camps many have enjoyed for generations may offer something else: healing for America’s young people.”
The Farm & Wilderness community knows this. Our alumni have lived this and understand how it shows up for them even 20, 30, and in some cases, 60 years later in life. Our parents know this as they pick their child up lighter yet grounded, more carefree, and confident.
And, as Gay points out, it is different now. Our children are hurting and have experienced trauma, and they desperately need the healing power that summer camp can provide.
“By nearly every measure, American youths are in distress.” Gay cites a 51% increase in emergency room visits for suspected suicide by adolescent girls and 44% of high school students feeling persistently hopeless or sad. Children across the country have lost parents due to COVID. Native American children lost parents or caregivers at three and a half times the rate of white children. Black and Hispanic children lost parents or caregivers at more than two times the rate of white children.
And, how can summer camp help children heal and grow?
“At its best, camp can offer children a chance to learn outside the classroom, drawing them from their computer screens and helping them build stronger relationships with other children, themselves and nature. For children living in poverty especially, summer camp can be a great equalizer, giving them a chance to pick up essential life skills — like swimming — often not taught in their communities. At many camps, children from diverse backgrounds forge lifelong friendships, develop a deep connection with and respect for nature and learn to work as teams to overcome big challenges. These are values our democracy desperately needs.”
F&W is committed to making our camps affordable for all. Summer camp costs go beyond tuition, which is why we've created an extended Campership financial aid program to help expand access to the summer camp experience. Learn more here!