When teenagers register for camp, we ask them to fill out a short questionnaire. One of things we ask is that they share any concerns they might have about coming to Odyssey Teen Camp. It is amazing how many teenagers respond by writing the same four words:
“Will I make friends?”
I once went to listen to a smart therapist who works with teenagers, and someone from the audience asked her why teenagers are so addicted to social media? Her response was,
“Teenagers are not actually addicted to social media, they are addicted to each other, and social media is a primary way they stay connected to one another.”
I guess it’s all about their friends?
We get plenty of shy teenagers at camp, and I’m sure some of that shyness comes from the fear of being judged harshly by their peers. When campers talk about what they like best about camp they consistently say,
“it felt like nobody was judging me.”
That must feel very freeing to a teenager (and not too bad to an adult either).
When teenagers ask me if they’ll make friends at camp, I give them a resounding YES!!. I believe they will make wonderful friends because I have seen lasting connections among campers throughout my 15 years as camp director.
If asked, I might also suggest they leave their best friend at home, and come to camp on their own. When you come to camp alone I think you are more empowered and open to represent yourself and be as authentic, joyful, and courageous as you can.
We also ask, “What are your favorite foods?” The most popular answer is lasagna, pasta, and mac n cheese. So, come to camp and have some meals with new friends, who will never judge you for how much cheese you’re eating.
Find out about Odyssey Teen Camp
A great place for teens to be exactly who they are in a community that celebrates diversity.
I’m Adam Simon. I started teen camp eighteen years ago with the vision of creating a space where teenagers would know they are safe from bullying or negative judgments and would feel free to show who they really are and to become their best selves. Let’s connect, discuss, engage…