Camp: A Perfect Place to Address Bullying

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Camping Magazine


American Camp Association


Bullying is now being understood as a group phenomenon, as opposed to an event or exchange that happens between two or three kids. Bullying is a social problem where the whole bullying incident is supported by the bystander (Espelage 2003; Craig & Pepler 1997; Salmivalli et al. 1996). This is important because in most cases the symptoms of bullying are the focus of treatment while the overall problem remains untreated. To address the problem, intervention should be directed toward the participants and the witnesses (Salmivalli 1999). A "one-shot" training session for campers and teen volunteer counselors that focuses on tips for handling bullying situations, for example, may not be sufficient to reduce the over-all presence of bullying. This type of training may be helpful in developing an awareness of the presence of bullying and providing tips on what to do if a specific incident occurs. However, it may not be very effective reducing the presence of bullying. Ultimately, it is the entire environment that must be changed if bullying is to decrease (Lumsden 2003 and Olweus 1993).