Circle Camps, an American non-profit foundation located in both Maine and West Virginia, is offering a unique take on the traditional summer camping experience for children. The foundation, which offers a cost-free, therapeutic camping experience, specializes in helping girls, ages nine to 18, get through the grieving process that comes along with losing a parent. The group, now in its 12th year of service, offers professional help from psychologists and licensed social workers, as well as a dedicated group of camp counselors. Many of the counselors are young women who, after relying on the unique services offered by Circle Camps in their youth, now offer their experience to young women in need.
Camping Has Long Been Used to Promote Health
Every year, according to data from the Outdoor Association, 38 million Americans, approximately 12% of the population, head into the woods or their local campgrounds to set up a tent and reconnect with nature. In this, camping can truly be seen as one of the great All-American activities.
While it’s undoubtedly true that many go camping simply because they want to get away from it all for a while, many others realize that there is a link between getting outdoors and staying healthy. Camping promotes exercise, and by exposing you to fresh air, it has also been shown to increase serotonin levels in the blood, a neurotransmitter that plays a key role in happiness and our ability to have restful sleep. According to the American Camp Association, 74% of campers say that going camping also allows them to experience something new that they were afraid of doing before.
All of these benefits of camping are brought to bear for the young women looking to heal at Circle Camps. With the added advantage of being able to commiserate and bond with other young women who are struggling with the same trauma and the helping hand of experienced camp counselors and mental health professionals, Circle Camps provides the unique chance to reconnect with nature and humanity.