Bullying in 2020 and the Mitigating Effects of Attending Camp

Author: Megan Mountzoures, Freedom Camp Team Leader

Bullying is a purposeful, repetitive, and a world-wide epidemic that is seen across all races, classes, ages, and genders. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) defines bullying as “unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance." While bullying can happen in the workplace, it tends to be most prevalent in school settings among the youth:

  • Nearly 1 in 5 students (21%) report being bullied during the school year, impacting over 5 million youth annually. National Center for Education Statistics, 2018
  • 160,000 kids per day skip school for fear of being bullied. American Society for the Positive Care of Children, 2018
  • Approximately 30% of young people admit to bullying others. Bradshaw, Sawyer, & O’Brennan, 2007
  • Bystanders make up the largest group of students affected by bullying in school, with 71% of students saying they have witnessed bullying within the last month. Bradshaw, Sawyer, & O’Brennan, 2007
  • Almost all forms of bullying peak in middle school with 6th grade students reporting the highest percentage of bullying (29%). National Center for Education Statistics, 2018

Students who experience bullying are at increased risk for poor school adjustment, sleep difficulties, anxiety, and depression (CDC, 2019). They are also at risk for health complaints, loss of interest in activities previously found interesting and decreased academic achievement. When children feel unsafe at school, they’re unable to able to focus, take academic risks, and less likely to participate. Studies have found the effects of bullying to be serious and long lasting on one’s mental health and overall well being. It is important to note these negative outcomes affect all involved in bullying, the bullies, the bullied, and the bystanders (CDC, 2019).

A noted educator, author, and psychologist, Dr. Peter Scales says, "Camp is one of the few institutions where young people can experience and satisfy their need for physical activity, creative expression and true participation in a community environment. Most schools don't satisfy all these needs" (ACA, 2019). LINX Camps strives to make our day camp environment the perfect setting for children to learn how to problem solve, socially adjust to new and different people, take on new responsibilities, and learn new skills that increase their self esteem under the supportive eye of staff who have received extensive training on signs of bullying.

A part of the LINX Camps mission is to help all campers be “C squared” or comfortable and confident in three ways: with themselves, their counselors, and their peers. First, we want campers to be comfortable and confident with themselves. Counselors work to make sure campers are happy with who they are and feel that they can be who they want to be. Secondly, we aim for campers to feel emotionally safe with their counselors so that they are comfortable going to their counselors for support and are confident that staff will validate and help them. Finally, we strive for campers to find comfort and confidence with their peers. When there is little to no fear of being made fun of or judged campers are open to meeting new friends and trying new skills.

LINX Camps has a zero tolerance policy with regard to bullying and we pride ourselves on creating a safe environment for staff and campers. To learn more about LINX Camps, explore our camps by age.