Are Camps for Adults a Good Idea?

Julie Shenkman
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Many adults have fond memories of the time they spent at summer camp when they were kids. Some of these adults are now taking time off from work to attend adult camps and spend time with people who share the same interests and passions. There's even some evidence that attending this type of camp can reduce stress and help workers recharge, but is it a good idea from a human resources perspective? It really depends on the needs of your workers and the problems you're trying to solve within your company.

Occupational stress costs employers a significant amount of money. In the United States alone, workplace stress has been linked to approximately $200 billion per year in lost productivity, absenteeism, workers' compensation claims, increased medical insurance costs, and increased turnover, according to Rebecca Maxon of Fairleigh Dickinson University. If workplace stress is hurting your company financially, sending your employees to adult camps might be a good idea. Spending time in a different environment is just what some employees need to release stress and recharge their batteries.

Sending your employees to adult camps is also a good way to encourage bonding and foster a sense of loyalty to the company. David Ballard, the head of the Center for Organizational Excellence of the American Psychological Association, says bonding excursions can help employees build strong relationships and learn new things. Taking field trips or participating in sports activities, for example, helps employees work better as a team. Sending your employees to adult camps has some of the same benefits. Camps exist for everything from snowboarding to yoga, giving employees opportunities to improve their physical health as well as their relationships with others.

Although adult camps are a great resource, they are not the right solution to every human resources problem. If your company is not committed to creating a positive work environment, sending employees to camp for one week out of the year will not do much to improve their output. Your money would be better spent addressing the internal issues affecting productivity, turnover, and absenteeism. If your employees already have a strong sense of team spirit, it may not be worth it to send them to camp together. Spending money on new equipment or an internal training program might be a better investment.

If your company is struggling with a high turnover rate or decreased productivity, sending your employees to an adult camp might be a good way to solve the problem. Attending camps helps workers build stronger relationships and reduce stress, which can have positive effects in the workplace. If you're struggling with other issues, such as declining profits or a shortage of skilled workers, adult camps are probably not the right answer.


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