When you come camping, we want you to step away from your day-to-day life and fully immerse yourself in our world…the tide pools, gardens, goats and honeybees. We hope that you’ll lose track of time and forget what day it is. As a family of craftsmen, we’ve always believed that making something with your hands relaxes both your mind and your body. So we built an art studio and every week during the summer there’s an artist in residence to share his or her passion. There’s no cost to you (except possibly a small materials fee or an occasional opportunity for a private lesson) and the program is open to all campers.
Need more proof? Here are five facts for you to toss around during your next coffee chat or beer around the campfire when someone asks “why do you knit or why do you carve?”
- In one study of more than 3,500 knitters, published in The British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 81% of respondents with depression reported feeling happy after knitting. More than half reported feeling “very happy.”
- Scientists are beginning to study leisure activities’ impact on the brain. Playing games, reading books and crafting could reduce your chances of developing mild cognitive impairment by 30% to 50%, according to a 2011 study published in The Journal of Neuropsychiatry.
- According to Robert Reiner, PhD, a New York University psychologist, findings prove what crafters already know: crafts de-stress. “The act of performing a craft is incompatible with worry, anger, obsession, and anxiety,” he says. “Crafts make you concentrate and focus on the here and now and distract you from everyday pressures and problems. They’re stress-busters in the same way that meditation, deep breathing, visual imagery, and watching fish are.”
- Crafting as a whole is both a creative and productive outlet. The process of envisioning, producing, and realizing a product to its final form boosts our sense of self-worth and encourages us to connect in social circles. And communal crafting comes with its own inherent benefits. Akin to a child showing her mother something she made in art class at school or friends swapping decoupage tips, crafting is like a single weaving thread in a sweater — it keeps us connected to each other.
- Crafting might be the key to everlasting youth. Avid arts-and-crafters are able to slow down cognitive deterioration by stimulating the body as well as the mind. One study shows that keeping yourself in a crafty mind-set reduces your chance of developing mild cognitive impairment by as much as 50 percent. Similarly, a French study found that elderly people involved in leisurely activities — including knitting, specifically — are less likely to develop dementia. This includes Alzheimer’s disease, believe it or not.