New Feature Article: Camping Alone? Connection, Consistency, and Contribution – How Summer Camps Build Social Capital

The September/October edition of Camping Magazine features Stephen’s new article, “Camping Alone? Connection, Consistency, and Contribution – How Summer Camps Build Social Capital.”  Based on his keynote address at the Cape Cod Sea Camps’ 85th Anniversary Alumni Banquet and grounded in the work of Harvard Professor Robert Putnam’s Saguaro Seminar, the article focuses on communities linked to civic engagement through collective work and play.

It also features quotes from campers as well as authors Michael Eisner (Camp), Leo Buscaglia (Loving Each Other), Josh Wolk (Cabin Pressure), and Richard Lerner (The Good Teen).   

Most important, the article points to the enduring benefits of interconnectedness and contribution to others and community.

Here’s an excerpt …

 Eight years ago, Harvard University Professor Robert Putnam published a book, Bowling Alone, chronicling the demise of connection in modern-day American society and warning that the precipitous decline in “social capital” (the collective value of all social networks and the inclinations that arise from these networks to do things for each other) impoverishes our lives and communities. As evidence, Putnam cites plummeting rates of membership in PTAs, unions, and clubs of all kinds; long-term declines in blood donations, card games, and charity; and drops of 40-60 percent in dinner parties, civic meetings, family suppers, picnics . . . and league bowling.

Read more …

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