A summer camp is a common destination for children and teenagers during the summer months in some countries. Typically a summer camp provides care and activities for the campers, mostly of an outdoor nature such as hiking, canoeing, and sitting at night at campfires.
There are also specialized summer camps for the performing arts, music, magic, computers, children with special needs, and weight loss, and religiously-affiliated summer camps, such as those run by Evangelical Christian groups.
The primary purpose of many camps is educational or cultural development. A summer camp environment may allow children to take healthy risks in a safe and nurturing environment.
In most camps, the adult supervisors are called counselors. In many camps, counselors are assigned to smaller groups of campers, called "bunks", "huts", "cabins", or "units", who participate in activities as a group. Counselors often share living accommodations with their bunk or other counselors. Most counselors are in their late teens or early twenties, as high school or college students on their summer break are frequently recruited.
At some camps, all campers stay overnight, and at some camps, so called day camps, the campers go home each night. Some other camps allow both day and overnight campers. Summer camp is often the first time that children spend an extended period of time away from home.
Punishments in summer camps
Counselors generally have in loco parentis rights and responsibilities for their campers. There may be punishments for offenses such as stealing or major breaking of camp rules and regulations. Some camps are stricter in their rules, and enforcing them, while others are more lenient. Sometimes, extreme punishments are used playfully, like the pillory or stocks.
In the past, possible punishments in summer camps included mild forms of corporal punishment. Nowadays, most summer camps around the world no longer use any corporal punishments though, and in certain countries such would be even illegal today. Typical non-corporal punishments of choice are extra chores, removal of privileges, and in extreme cases sending the offending camper home.
An example of spanking in a summer camp in mainstream film (also outdoor) is Bless the Beasts and Children from 1971.
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