Camp Woodland Blog

Camp Reinforces the Benefits of Seasonality

Posted by on March 26, 2024

A camp parent recently shared a guest essay from the New York Times (02-16-24) that gives insight into seasonality as a much needed break from the never ending cycle of working 8 hrs a day, 5 days a week, month after month, for a large portion of the year. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, when it was necessary to secure food by hunting and gathering (and later with the development of agriculture), there were periods of time (typically during the winter months) when there was a lull from the busier seasons of planting and harvesting.

With the onset of factories and mills, the seasonal periods of downtime became no more. This carried over into “office” jobs as well when the mindset became the more you worked, the more you could potentially produce or create. I think it is safe to say that the interruption of this during 2020 and 2021 caused a lot of people to “wake up” and realize that this never ending cycle of work without periods of rest is not sustainable. We witnessed first hand how those who were working full-time became (and probably already were) burned out.

So, you are probably wondering what this has to do with camp?! The summer break in the education world has been a topic of conversation that goes back decades with the introduction of year round schools. There have been a number of organized attempts to “save our summer” in various states for various reasons. Of course, the “summer learning loss” is a point that is argued as a reason not to take a big break from school during the summer months (I have been known to counter this notion and that spending time at camp actually contributes to a “summer surplus“!). If you follow the line of thinking around the benefits of seasonality that the NYT essay offers, it is easy to connect the dots to the reason why camp is absolutely the perfect solution to the rat race of school, activities and busy schedules from September to May.

For six glorious weeks at Camp Woodland, kids are able to enjoy the benefits of seasonality. Cal Newport (essay author) shares that, “Intense periods of cognition must be followed by quieter periods of mental rejuvenation. Energized creative breakthroughs must be supported by the slower incubation of new ideas.” Each minute at camp is a much needed break from the intensity of school and all that comes with that (homework, projects, tests, sports, clubs, music/art activities, etc. and sometimes a part-time job is added to the mix). Once campers settle into the routine of camp (the slower pace, regular meals, an active lifestyle, more sleep, a built-in friend group, no phone, etc.), it is amazing what the opportunity to regroup/recharge/reboot does for the overall health of each person!

Spending a summer at camp is literally a prescription for naturally combating stress and burnout. It truly is “what the doctor ordered.” The camp experience organically gives our young people the opportunity for mental rejuvenation. An important contributing factor to this vital mental rejuvenation is the sense of calm and peace that being in nature and the outdoors provides. After 40+ days of being in surrounded by the forest trees and natural lakes, you can’t help but downshift to a more reasonable pace and rhythm that reenergizes the spirit and allows for creativity to come out of hiding within individuals (and even flourish in the group setting!).

This quieter period during the summer allows for campers to return to the demands of school and family life having had time to unwind, reset, and enjoy the benefits of seasonality by being at camp in the Northwoods!


Now is a GREAT time to enroll your camper/s for 2024 and reserve your spot/s so that your daughter/s have the opportunity to reap the benefits of seasonality through the camp experience! Sign up HERE: