Every summer, millions of children attend summer camps throughout the United States.
If you’ve been to camp, you’re not surprised to hear about the benefits of summer camp. Experiencing life at camp yourself as a child, you know the profound positive effects that still matter to you as an adult, and you also know that you want something just as great for your own kids.
Within the camp setting, children develop a sense of independence as they try new adventures away from home.
Here, children gain self-confidence as they learn new skills and develop a variety of social skills (communication, conflict resolution ability).
Practically, this experience offers the opportunity for children to grow.
What are the magics happening here?
1. Kids get independent
Camp is the perfect place for kids to practice making decisions for themselves without parents and teachers guiding every move. Campers learn how to be independent. And although working and playing in groups and cared for by leaders and tutors, kids get to make decisions on their own, think creatively, learn and grow in the very stimulating environment. Managing their daily choices in the safe, caring environment of camp, children welcome this as a freedom to blossom in new directions. Camp helps kids develop who they are.
2. Spend their day being physically active
– As children spend so much time these days inside and mostly sitting down, camp provides a wonderful opportunity to move. Running, swimming, jumping, hiking, climbing! Camp is action!
3. Experience success and become more confident
Camp helps children build self-confidence and self-esteem by removing the kind of academic, athletic and social competition that shapes their lives at school. With its non-competitive activities and diverse opportunities to succeed, camp life is a real boost for young people. There’s accomplishment every day. Camp teaches kids that they can.
4. Gain resiliency
At camp, children are encouraged to go outside their comfort zone through activities such as high ropes courses, dramatic and musical performances, or wilderness camping.
Camp does a really good job of teaching kids it's okay to fail and helps them recognize their limitations, and see these are things that are not fixed and can be improved.
The camp experience can be divided into the hard skills – for example, learning how to paddle a canoe, tie a knot, identify an edible plant and play a team sport – and accompanying soft skills such as perseverance, creativity, responsibility and courage. So, every child has an opportunity to succeed.
By allowing children to take risks and face challenges, camp helps children build their independence, resiliency and self-esteem in a safe, supervised and supportive environment. This translates into increased self-confidence and, in many cases, an improved school experience.
5. Unplug from technology
When kids take a break from TV, cell phones, and the Internet, they rediscover their creative powers and engage the real world— real people, real activities, and real emotions. Along with banning the use of electronics, many camps provide a daily routine that involves waking up early, getting lots of physical activity, eating regular meals and spending extended periods of time outdoors.
They realize, there’s always plenty to do. Camp is great because it’s real!
6. Make true friends
Camp is the place where kids make their very best friends. Free from the social expectations pressuring them at school, camp encourages kids to relax and make friends easily. All the fun at camp draws everyone together— singing, laughing, talking, playing, doing almost everything together. Everyday, camp creates friendships.
7. Learn to share and be more tolerant to others
Staying at a summer camp broadens one’s horizon to different cultures and develops a more tolerant mentality;
There are countless risks of living in the same place for too long, spending a period of time in a foreign environment with boys and girls from other countries and cultures helps us learn to tolerate and respect aspects of their lives different to our own.