In 2006, the University of Waterloo embarked on a six year study, the Canadian Summer Camp Research Project,  in order to discover how camps across Canada may contribute to youth development. Within the Project the highest rate of positive growth was found to be the area of emotional intelligence (EI). Sixty-nine percent of all campers in this national study experienced an increase in the development of their EI (Glover et al., 2011).  

Emotional intelligence (EI) is acknowledged as a key to both personal and professional success.

It is defined as the ability to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships with fairness and empathy for the other person. EI is not something that you are born with but rather something that can be learned. Camp provides real life situations where kids can understand the immediate benefits of teamwork, sharing responsibility, compromise, and resolution within a community of their peers. 

The combination of independence and inter-dependence within the supportive environment at camp helps children develop their emotional intelligence.