by: Foundation for Jewish Camp Articles & Press Releases October 24, 2023

Unlocking the Positive Impact Summer Camps on Mental Health and Well-being

New Collaborative Research Reveals Key Insights for both staff and campers

[New York, NY] – With a rise in mental health affecting our youth a new study conducted in collaboration with the American Camp Association and researchers at Foundation for Jewish Camp,  delved into the heart of what makes summer camp run: it’s staff and furthermore, what staff need to feel supported in a camp environment. The study offers valuable insights with potential relevance applicable to many types of summer camps and communities and uncovers the profound impact that well-being has on both campers and staff.   

Every year, around 26 million American children attend summer camps, and about 1.5 million young adults and adults work at these camps.  This study, which will be published in late October in The Journal of Youth Development publication, found key insights that revealed actionable takeaways for camp leadership, offering a blueprint for creating positive and successful camp experiences. It also found investing in the well-being of staff leads to better outcomes for all. 

“The mental health and well-being of youth and young adults is a persistent concern in our current world,” Nila Rosen, Director, Learning & Research at Foundation for Jewish Camp, said. “Camps are a reflection of this complexity. Our research shows how to ensure that camps are supportive and thriving spaces for staff and campers.”

This research demonstrates how experiences of individuals in a group can impact others and emphasizes the importance of supporting staff and group leaders so they can create environments that foster growth and connection. These lessons extend to any organization or community seeking to enhance the well-being of its members.

For in-depth discussions on the study’s findings and their broader implications, the research team is available for interviews. Please contact: aimee@jewishcamp.org for more information.

About Foundation for Jewish Camp

FJC advocates for over 300 day and overnight camps that provide nearly 180,000 campers and counselors each summer with a meaningful, personal, and lifelong connection to Judaism. FJC is the only public 501(c)(3) charitable organization solely focused on Jewish camp. https://jewishcamp.org/

About American Camp Association

The American Camp Association (ACA) is the key to unlocking a future where all children thrive. ACA provides research, education, and training to promote safe and healthy camp experiences for all families. https://www.acacamps.org/