4 benefits of summer camp
Summer is an exciting time for children and parents alike. It means longer days, time spent in the pool, and summer vacations (near and far). On the flipside, summer might mean restless days and bored children. Summer camp is a great option as a boredom buster. Here are four additional benefits of summer camp to consider:
Helps children enhance their unique interests.
Is your child interested in a specific area, i.e. science, sports, or entrepreneurship? Specialized summer camps help children build on their interest in a personalized way.
These opportunities exist at camp and are usually more concentrated than an extracurricular activity. Consider how effective it would be for your child to take a week, month, or even a whole summer focusing on their interest!
A specialized camp promotes socialization with children of similar interests. It gets them out of their comfort zone and develops their hobby/interest. Their viewpoints may be challenged, expanding the way they think about a process or concept. This way of interacting helps kids to think creatively, problem solving in unexpected ways.
Encourages growth through a change in environment.
Children attend school with the same students year after year. This can be good and bad. Good because children build long-term friendships, but they may not be required challenge themselves. Children will remain comfortable if allowed, stifling their growth.
A change in environment can strengthen a child’s personality by pushing them to learn new things about themselves. Maybe they meet a new friend that teaches them a new skill or expands their interests to new areas. For example, a naturally creative child may be inclined to draw, but meets a new friend that is good at painting, subsequently sparking that child’s interest in paint!
Provides mental stimulation and physical activities.
If left unattended, children may indulge in video games or excessive screen time during summer months. This isn’t healthy for their minds or bodies. In fact, children who consistently spend more than four hours per day watching TV are more likely to be overweight, according to KidsHealth.
Summer camp gets kids moving! Physical activity is built into the daily plans, including indoor/outdoor sports, games, swimming, crafts, and more. Most camps, including technology camps offer a well-balanced experience to campers.
Camp gets kids off couches, exploring the world around them, and even learning new friendship building techniques along the way.
Reinforces independence and empowers children.
Summer camp is (in most cases) more casual than a school environment. It allows children to make decisions they otherwise couldn’t. This is especially true in an overnight summer camp setting. Even in a day camp, children are forced to decide what games they may want to play, or crafts they participate in. It allows them to problem solve in a way that contributes to an understanding of how their choices affect their day.
In this same notion, children can build their confidence through newfound successes, nurturing creativity in a judgement free zone. This allows children to discover their strengths and weaknesses.
Summer camp culminates the things that are most important for a child’s development. It helps them make new friends, enhances their confidence, provides opportunities to be independent, and makes them resilient. Most of all, camp provides a sense of belonging to a common purpose, promoting a lifelong foundation.
By Heather Cherry