Camp Builds: Not Your Typical 3 R’s


If there is anything we know for sure, it’s that summer camp experiences build kids up. Whether it’s a skill, in confidence, or in character…camp builds. This summer, we’ll be highlighting not just how we are seeing kids grow, but how leading child development researchers are as well. Camp builds the 3 R’s, but we’re not talking reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmatic.

Parenting and youth development expert Debi Gilboa says the three R’s kids need are respect, resilience and responsibility. She defines each as…

  • Respect—recognizing the worth or excellence of something or someone, showing regard or consideration. Important note: respect is impossible to give if you don’t have any!
  • Resilience—grit, the ability to recover from adversity. Important note: people need practice in overcoming adversity to become resilient!
  • Responsibility—Being reliable, being dependable, meeting obligations and taking initiative.


Campers grow more in character over one summer at camp than a middle-school student during a long awaited growth spurt. So, how does camp foster development in the 3 R’s? We’re so happy you asked.

Living in close quarters with non-family members teaches campers to respect others and themselves. They learn to treat their bodies with respect by running hard, playing harder, filling it with delicious and nutritious food, washing off the layer of “fun” they accumulated during the day, and resting it at night. Life at Lonehollow teaches campers to respect each other, their belongings and each other’s privacy through daily value sessions, participation in activities, and contributing to their daily cabin clean-up.

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