Summer vacation offers students a respite from lessons and the routine of school. Children might once have eagerly awaited those final days of classes so they could lounge poolside, skip rocks across ponds and spend the long days of the season playing with friends. But many of today’s youngsters spend much of their summer vacations indoors playing with their digital devices.
Perhaps that’s why one of the last vestiges of the classic summer vacation escape – summer camp – remains such a viable option for parents who want their children to get outdoors once the school year ends.
Although kids needn’t be in camp all summer long, a week or two can benefit campers of all ages. The following are several reasons why summer camp might be the right fit this year.
Explore talents. Summer camps help young people explore their unique interests and talents. Under an organized, yet often easygoing, camp schedule, kids can dabble in sports, arts and crafts, leadership, community support, and so many other activities that may not be fully available to them elsewhere.
Physical activity. Lots of camps build their itineraries around physical activities that take place outdoors. Campers may spend their time swimming, running, hiking, playing sports, climbing, and so much more. This can be a welcome change for kids accustomed to living sedentary lifestyles. Regular physical activity has many health benefits and can set a foundation for healthy habits as an adult.
Gain confidence. Day and sleepaway camps offer campers the opportunity to get comfortable in their own skin. Camps can foster activities in self-esteem by removing the academic measures of success and fill in with noncompetitive opportunities to succeed. Campers learn independence, decision-making skills and the ability to thrive outside of the shadow of their parents, siblings or other students.
Try new things. Camp gives children the chance to try new things, whether that’s learning to cook, exploring new environments or embracing a new sport or leisure activity. Opening oneself up to new opportunities can build character and prove enlightening for children.
Make new friends. Camp is a great place to meet new people and make lifelong friends. Campers flood in from areas near and far. This provides kids with a chance to expand their social circles beyond their immediate neighborhoods and schools.
Camps benefit children in a variety of ways. Lessons learned in camp can strengthen values, build confidence, develop coping mechanisms when adversity strikes, and enable campers to make lifelong friends.