Parents, have you been planning and preparing your child’s summer activities? It’s not too early to get a jump on that task and to start looking into summer camp options.
Did you know that approximately six million children go to sleep-away camp each summer? Are you wondering if overnight camp makes sense in what has become an intensely competitive, resume-building world? The answer is YES! Children develop in profoundly different ways when they leave home and join a camp community. Learning to sleep away from home is a critical step towards independence and not something parents can help kids do without creating the opportunity. You’re also giving them a unique chance to develop self-esteem and confidence, to realize how strong they are, and how competent they are in this new and challenging space. When a child is at camp on his own, the experience, the accomplishments and the satisfaction is his alone.
If you attended summer camp, you already understand the benefits of experiencing camp life and the positive effects that you carry with you as an adult. If you didn’t go to sleep-away camp as a child, you may not fully grasp the important reasons to give your own children this opportunity. Below find some of the important benefits of the camping experience.
1. Children spend their time staying physically fit and active while running, swimming, hiking, climbing, boating, horseback riding, and playing sports!
2. They experience success, become more confident, and increase self-esteem in a way that removes the social competitiveness they experience in school. There are opportunities for encouragement and accomplishment every day.
3. The encouragement the children receive at camp makes it easy and comfortable for them to to try new things, to endure setbacks and try again, and to conquer fears.
4. Camp gives your children a chance to rediscover their creativity and engage one-on-one with real people, activities, and emotions – the real world - because they are taking an extended break from TV, cell phones, the internet and other technology distractions.
5. children will learn important social skills while living in the close-knit camp community where everyone must cooperate, respect each other, share chores, use strategies to find resolutions when there are disagreements, experience teamwork, and learn how to communicate with each other.
6. Your children will play! There are great benefits to living a life, even for just a little while, where your children can be free from the overly structured and scheduled routines that they experience during the school year.
7. Camp provides instruction, equipment and space for children to build on their artistic interests, sports abilities and adventuring skills. It allows them to discover what they like to do and develop life-long skills through the variety of activities offered.
8. Camp provides the opportunity to reconnect with nature and get away from the modern indoor life they experience during the rest of the year. There is so much to learn about the natural world, the environment and the creatures who live there!
9. There’s the opportunity to make good friends, free from the social pressures children face at school. At camp, they can relax and enjoy the experiences that draw everyone together.
10. Camp is a perfect place to practice decision making for children because they are away from parents and teachers who are guiding their moves and managing their choices. This gives the children the freedom to strike out in new directions, explore new ideas and to find out who they really are.
Camp experience will also help them on the college path or future employment. College admissions officers often report that former campers are more likely to succeed in college because they experienced success on their own away from home. They are also impressed by high-schoolers who have been camp counselors because they have had responsibility for younger campers and built leadership skills.
Consider the camp experience for your children as it builds confidence, success, skills, and more!