Why Summer Camp is Awesome for Kids
If you ask any adult what their favorite childhood memory is, there is a big chance that summer camp will be among the answers. Summer camp is almost like an adolescent rite of passage; a place where the friends you make and experiences you share will stay with you for a lifetime. It has been noted that attending summer camp can have a profound impact on kids, so lets take a closer look at some of the reasons.
One of the most positive aspects of camp is it gives kid's their first taste of independence. Without parents offering guidance, kids are able to further develop social skills, peer relationships, leadership, values, and experience activities outside their comfort zone. Gaining self reliance gives way to an incredible boost in self-esteem. In fact, a recent study by the American Camp Association (ACA), 92% of campers polled felt that camp made them feel better about themselves.
Gets Kids Active
Lets face it, we are living in a world where children's activities are continually shifting indoors: Apps, video games, TV, internet, etc. Sending them to summer camp for a week gets them off the couch and gives them a chance to interact with the world outside the city. Exposure to nature could unlock a hidden passion for hiking, wildlife, plants, trees, or astronomy.
Learn New Skills
Most summer camps offer a wide variety of workshops, meant to help them learn and develop physically, artistically, and socially. Camps that offer opportunities for team-based sports or games, helping kids exercise while developing good teamwork skills. Camps that offer art workshops like jewelry making or painting, get kids to experience the joy of creating something with their hands while developing artistic interests that they could continue outside of camp.
Whether its at home or at school, playtime for kids rarely comes without structure and schedule. Summer camp give them the chance to break free from those restrictions for a time being. In addition to structured, staff led workshops, camps leave plenty of time for campers to explore and create their own fun. Of course the kids at camp will not be allowed do WHATEVER they want, but allowing kids time free of schedule promotes healthy self-discovery.
Make New Friends
One of the best tings about summer camp is that kids find it easier to make friends. Summer camp looks to break the barriers that keep kids from interacting like cliques, bullying, and materialism. At camp, everyone is dirty, spending a lot of time together, eating the same food, playing games together, etc. This levels the playing field and promotes better interaction among kids, in turn letting friendship blossom.
Although this hub exported some of the reasons why summer camp has been beneficial to kids, its important to gauge whether you child is ready or not. Some kids might not respond well to being sent to overnight camp right away, so forcing the issue on them will take the opposite affect you are looking for. If you are unsure, try a day camp first. With day camp, you can discuss how it went with your child and address any issues that could arise beforehand.
Resources for Summer Camps
- Ultimate Camp Resource
Ultimate Camp Resource is a great place to get ideas for camp games, projects, and other activities. Its perfect for summer camp counselors or parents looking for new, fun activities.
- American Camp Association
The American Camp Association is the largest network of camp programs in the country. Visit the site to find more information about summer camps in your area.
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