Someone in an unhealthy relationship may feel trapped in that relationship while they’re at camp which influences the choices they feel they do or do not have. They may not feel like they can break up with their partner since in an enclosed camp community they will likely have to continue to see them every day. They may also fear that their partner’s abusive behavior will escalate after breaking up but they’ll have no way to avoid them while still at camp.
Technology (or lack thereof):
During camp,access to technology can be very limited due to camp policies. However, it’s still important to recognize and understand the role that technology can play in abusive relationships. Campers and staff may arrive at camp in relationships from home or leave camp in a relationship that technology is introduced into when they return home. A warning sign at camp that someone may be experiencing technological abuse is when they won’t turn off or put away their phone or has an extreme reaction to those requests in fear of how their partner will respond if they don’t answer texts and calls.
Without a familiar adult figure present, campers may be unsure of who to turn to if they are in an abusive relationship. It is important that campers identify trusted adults such as counselors, social workers, nurses, or camp directors they can talk to if they need support.
From Camp to School:
Abusive relationships can begin before or during camp, and may continue after camp. The change in environment from home to camp, or vice versa, may introduce or remove elements like technology, distance, school, and parents, that could cause the relationship dynamic to change or the abuse to escalate. Learn the warning signs of dating abuse so you’ll recognize when a teen in your life needs.