The Secret to Developing Grit

It’s no secret that children who attend summer camp or spend time away from home on a school field trip often excel during the rest of the year for many reasons, but there’s one reason that is often overlooked.

Children develop perseverance – a.k.a. grit! – while away from home. Camp experiences are not only a safe option for children to live more independently, but they also provide myriad opportunities for trying new things, overcoming challenges, and achieving goals.

At Frost Valley, children in all of our programs are guided by eight core values – caring, community, diversity, honesty, inclusiveness, respect, responsibility, and stewardship. Every activity, from learning archery to cleaning up from lunch, infuses each of these values that ultimately help children persevere through otherwise challenging endeavors.

Whether it’s learning a new horseback riding skill, equitably working through a conflict with a bunkmate, or mustering the courage to take that first leap off the platform of the zipline, values-based programming is the key to developing lifelong character traits.

The kind of grit that children develop in the outdoors, away from home is needed now more than ever. As Dr. Gilboa pointed out while she was here at Frost Valley last month, decreased recess time and increased dependence on smart phones can alter childhood development. While an increased focus on academics and the ability to call home when trouble arises both have many benefits. Consequently, children may also have fewer opportunities to navigate social challenges on their own, learning from their mistakes, and developing confidence from independent problem solving.

By no means are technology and academics wholly problematic. However, it’s crucial to continue to provide the vital childhood experiences that carry us through life. Outdoor experiences that are guided by values-driven programming, like those at Frost Valley, have the power to ensure that grit and perseverance are achieved at a young age and well through the teen years.

If you’re interested in learning more about how your child can have such an experience, please contact us today!


Frost Valley YMCA

Frost Valley YMCA is a 5,500-acre, year-round camp - There's something for everyone here in the Valley. From group and family retreats to overnight camps to horse camps to teambuilding, we've got you covered. School groups love taking a three-night field trip to explore the natural world and learn about the environment and their classmates. Family weekends are the perfect getaway for the young and the young at heart. Teambuilding retreats afford corporate, collegiate, religious, and other groups the opportunity to challenge themselves and effectively work toward common goals. In the summertime we're where kids and teens gain independence, explore the world, and make lifelong friends through various camps such as traditional sleepaway camp, farm camp, horse camp, adventure trips, survival camp, and day camp. Call (845)985-2291 or email to learn more today!

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