The Purpose-Driven Summer Camp

Toasting marshmallows is for slackers. Now kids aim to sharpen their skills and boost their resumes. Is that a good thing?

The competition of a three-legged race could be brutal--and having your bunk short-sheeted humiliating--but most adults remember sleepaway camp as a relatively carefree experience, a respite from school and siblings and a departure from the pressures of normal life. Kids who went to private overnight camps spent weeks in bucolic settings, discovering activities they enjoyed and gamely participating in those they didn't. There were bug bites and bad food, but the day's biggest challenge often centered on rowing a canoe to the other side of the lake or roasting a marshmallow without burning it.

Russell Lyons sees things a bit differently....

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