How To Start Summer Camps Programs For Kids

The Broadway megahit and multi-Tony Award-winning musical Dear Evan Hansen has crystallized America’s focus on one of the most challenging and most consequential developmental processes for children and young adults: identity formation.

Ben Platt, 23, serves up a serial performance that accurately, engagingly captures what Joe Lovell of The New York Times referred to as “an anxiety-crippled 17-year-old” who “conveys such longing and loneliness and guilt and shame” that he exquisitely and meaningfully connects to the multifaceted audience during each performance: “teenagers struggling with anxiety, parents clinging to whatever fine thread still connects them to their kids, people who are ashamed of something they’ve done or who fear they are unlovable” (Lovell, 2017).

Of course, the show’s elements include the other well-worn adolescent narratives of depression, bullying, suicide, connection, kindness, and even eating lunch alone in the cafeteria (Isherwood, 2016).

A Developmental Master Plan

All of this tumult and turmoil begs the question: Is there a plan or process Summer Camps Programs For Kids at play that might lend context to this increasingly vast, vague period of human transformation?

In a word, yes.

Psychologist Erik Erikson proffered a psychoanalytic theory of psychosocial development made up of eight stages from infancy to adulthood. During each stage, he offered, the person experiences a “psychosocial crisis” that could have a positive or negative outcome for personality development. While Erikson was highly influenced by psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud — especially regarding the structure and topography of personality — Erikson was an ego, as opposed to an id, psychologist. He focused primarily on the role of culture and society and the conflicts that can take place within the ego itself (whereas Freud emphasized the conflict between the id and the superego).

Erikson believed that the ego develops as it successfully resolves those social crises. That resolution, he said, depends on establishing a sense of trust in others, developing a sense of identity in society, and helping the next generation prepare for the future. Erikson referred to this particular stage of development as “Identity vs. Role Confusion” (McLeod, 2017).

Defining Adolescence

Who exactly is an adolescent, anyway? Merriam-Webster defines this stage of human growth as “the period of life when a child develops into an adult . . . from puberty to maturity terminating legally at the age of majority; the state or process of growing up; a stage of development (as of a language or culture) prior to maturity” (2017).

Identity and Summer Camp

Bottom line, Summer Camps Programs For Kids experiences enhance overall identity formation.

Young people actively search for a sense of self and personal identity, looking to peers, near-peers, and adults for examples of personal values, beliefs, and goals — with an eye toward figuring out who they are, who they want to be, and how best to get there. Ethics and morality are also key ingredients of successfully navigating what Erikson referred to as a “moratorium” during which youth consider their future selves through a variety of lenses: social, emotional, gender, sexual, spiritual, and vocational.

The stakes couldn’t be higher.