Psychology Today stated, “According to a recent study by University College London, risk-taking behavior peeks during adolescence, suggesting that teens are “programmed” to take risks more often than other age groups… Contrary to popular belief, not all risk-taking is bad. In fact, many risks are not only good, but promote healthy neurological development and growth during the critical adolescent period.”
At camp students have the opportunity to take structured and appropriate risk such as meeting new people, being in an unfamiliar environment, trying new activities and challenging themselves physically through spelunking, obstacle courses, ropes courses and much more.
Facing these risks will allow them to learn how to overcome life-controlling fears and develop self-confidence. Through closely supervised and safe adventure activities students use their risk taking “programing” to continue their development and according to the above referenced study “promote healthy neurological development.”
At Pathfinders we believe enabling students to take controlled and structured risk enables them to recognize the difference between healthy and inappropriate risks. As we meet the psychological need they have to engage in risk-taking behavior in a way that produces a positive and life-developing outcome, we meet the urge to take risk, resulting in less motivation to engage in potentially destructive risk-taking behavior.