Positive Peer Influence at Camp Pocono Trails

The teenage years are a time of great change and difficulty. We also know that many young people experience a variety of pressures during their teenage years. This can include pressure from peers, pressure at school, and pressure from parents when kids start to push limits. Although there is a chance for good interactions and constructive peer pressure, many teenagers encounter harmful peer pressure. Any aspect of your child’s life, from their musical preferences to their academic choices, can be impacted by peer pressure.

Peer pressure has several benefits at camp, such as:

  • a sense of belonging and support with their bunkmates
  • increased self-confidence after completing challenge activities (ropes courses, zip lines, climbing, new sports, and activities)
  • introduction to positive hobbies, outside activities, and interests
  • reinforcement of positive habits and attitudes (see our page on Self-Regulation)
  • group learning and discussion of self-esteem, nutrition, technology habit reduction, and more

While at Camp Pocono Trails, campers develop in a social setting positive interests and hobbies. Activity and social activities are introduced, positive habits and attitudes are reinforced, and there is a sense of support and belonging.

Teenage Peer Relationships

Peer connections are often more important to many teenagers than anything else. They are moving into a phase where they are developing their own interests and ideas outside of the context of their family. These friendships assist mold their new interests and objectives as they discover new elements of their identity.

Teenagers in general place a high value on belonging, and the desire to avoid being left out sometimes serves as the impetus for negative situations involving peer pressure. Teenagers may be aware of their poor decisions at the time, but they are so worried about offending their friends that they would prefer to stay with the group than take the chance of being left out. Because of this, peer pressure that is harmful to teenagers may be quite hazardous. On the other hand, peer pressure can also be beneficial in the right setting such as while attending Camp Pocono Trails.

The Beneficial Effects of Peer Pressure

Healthy connections lead to positive peer interactions, which can establish bonds that endure long through the adolescent years. Peers can serve as effective role models for one another. Teenagers might become more goal-oriented by hanging out with people who are dedicated to excelling in school or a sport. Kind and dependable peers encourage their friends to develop these traits in themselves.

Additionally, friends may support one another in making decisions. When your teen experiences supportive peer pressure and is considering making a poor decision, those positive, supportive peers will jump in and explain why they shouldn’t. These supportive peers may be a tremendous help in making wise decisions at a time when teenagers sometimes avoid talking to their parents about their issues.

Your teen may feel encouraged to venture beyond their comfort zone and attempt new things by positive peer pressure. A teen’s growth includes exposure to new experiences, so friends might push one another to join a new organization or try out for the school play. At camp, we see peer support in a positive way to try new activities or to muster the strength to get up on stage at an all-camp evening event like the talent show or MTV night.

Here are some of the main ways that Camp Pocono Trails has witnessed beneficial peer influences:

Developing Healthful Habits

Being accepted feels fantastic. It could even improve general health. Your teen may be inspired to make healthy decisions by friends who model them for them. Peers frequently serve as good role models, whether it’s through joining the school track team, making healthier diet choices than junk food, or learning how to manage screen time. Other times, a positive peer group could encourage your child to stop existing bad behaviors and start new, healthier ones by using peer pressure.

Disclosing Fresh Experiences

It’s challenging to try new things. It requires confidence and bravery. Trying something new with friends may be motivating for young people. New experiences at camp can involve whitewater, the Tree Top ropes course, or getting up on stage in front of others.  Your child may feel more at ease if they can share new experiences with others.

Fostering Commitment to Change

Being a teenager may be difficult as you strive to figure out who you are and if you fit in. True friends at camp help one another. Everyone comes to our camp to develop new healthy habits. Their shared fight through adversity and joy at accomplishments is the aim. And as campers help one another through highs and lows, they develop their own inner fortitude and resilience thanks to the strength of their relationships.

We see campers every year forge new friendships that last a lifetime. Campers often come back year after year to maintain the friendships they built at camp and to renew their commitment to a healthy lifestyle.