High School Relationships vs. Summer Camp Relationships
Before I give my comparison between relationships in two completely different places, I will first explain what summer camp is. Many kids, “tweens,” and teenagers go to a variety of summer sleepaway/overnight camps to enjoy a variety of sports, activities, as well as hang with friends. The three sleepaway/overnight camps I’ve experienced, all were coed and were basically confined on a huge piece of property in rural areas. Being confined in such areas from a few weeks to two months drastically impacts relationships.
In high school, students are at home for 10 months and see the same people constantly, while parents are also around, making relationships “realer” but unreal at the same time. The “real” aspect is that there is more getting to know someone and having more experiences for months. However, when being at high school parties, there are at many times alcohol and other drugs, which make people get into relationships or situations they never would’ve gotten into without having been influenced by those substances. At camp, there is no access to drugs and alcohol so this would never happen. At high school, though, there is certainly more access to other risky behaviors such as sex, but I have found that at most times, relationships only go this far if the people have been together for many months to years.
Since campers are only at camp for only a few weeks to a couple of months, there are fewer limits. I have observed over the years that many people don’t care, and they tend to “use” their partners since they will not see each other again for the rest of the year. Therefore, relationships tend to go much faster, and I have found that there is less respect between the partners. However, all relationships are drug-free and some end up lasting for a long time, even to the point when some former campers have gotten married to their camp sweet-hearts. Therefore, camp is a great place to really get to meet people, especially when my friends and I stay in touch with each other throughout the year.
High school relationships and summer camp relationships have their differences, but when it comes down to the fundamental concept of getting to know someone else better, both kinds of relationships are far from different.
Ben is 15 and from Port Washington, New York. He is a member of The National Campaign’s Youth Leadership Team. If his name looks familiar, it’s probably because he was one of this year’s Color War captains. He led Chartreuse’s victory over Aqua in the brightest battle since 2009’s of Beige vs. Taupe. Have a question for Ben? Email us!
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