Developmental Milestones and the Camp Experience: Age 14-16
- Increase their hypothetical reasoning abilities
- Conduct increasing future planning
- Experience further sexual maturation and explore issues of sexual identity
- Exhibit greater complexity of moral reasoning, including abstract principles such as unselfishness and altruism
- Tend to rely increasingly on similarity of values and shared interests to form friendships
- Spend majority of time with friends, less time with parents
- Refine interests and aptitudes, gain proficiency in one or more activities
What's on Their Minds
- Describe themselves in more varied ways and struggle with the concept of a "real self"
- Express concern about identity—who they are and will become
- Develop feelings of sexual attraction and think about an appropriate person to love
- Rely on friendships and peers to affirm "who they are"
- Feel pressure to answer questions about their future
Building Parent-Child Relationships
- Express faith in young person's abilities
- Listen and try to understand
- Be a positive role model
- Respect their opinions
- Guide adolescents by openly discussing choices and consequences
- Spend pleasurable time together
- Respect their increasing need for privacy
Maximize the Camp Experience
- Select camp together by discussing important aspects to each of you
- Differentiate camp from school
- Look for camps that enhance self-esteem by providing opportunities for success in one or more activities that are important to your child
- Allow child to assume responsibility for camp preparation (e.g., help to shop for necessities, help to pack, help to complete registration forms)
- Consider longer camp stays as appropriate at this age
- Consider junior counselor or leadership training options for some camps/campers
|Teens at Camp, Camp and Teens|
|I Believe in Camp|
|Parent — Child Relationships|
|Find a Camp|
Reprinted with the permission of the American Camp Association. © 2008 American Camping Association, Inc.
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