If you attended summer camp growing up, perhaps you remember being apprehensive at first. Yet by the time you returned home, you realized that camp helped you learn and grow as you tried new things, developing more confidence and autonomy at the same time.
The same is true of camps today, and there are summer camp options that you probably never imagined when you were a kid. The great thing about summer camp is that it’s not only an excellent way for kids to spend part of their summer, it sends them home with new skills that are valuable right now and that will serve them well into adulthood.
Why is Summer Camp Important?
Summer camp is important because it often provides a structured opportunity for children to grow. Kids go from home to school to extracurriculars, with each environment contributing to their development. In addition, camp provides another unique venue for growth, allowing kids to become independent and self-confident, while socializing, making new friends and learning new skills.
What are some of the Benefits of Summer Camp?
Teamwork – Teamwork may be a part of some school activities and you can teach your children the value of teamwork at home, but camp takes it to an entirely new level. Children quickly learn that they simply have more fun when they learn to work together as a team, whether they’re writing computer code, playing sports or learning a new language.
Leadership – Camp teaches children self-leadership since they are responsible for basics like keeping track of their items, managing their time and following a routine. Many children who never thought of themselves as leaders discover that they have a real talent for leadership at summer camp.
Friendship-Building – Children who interact with like-minded peers are able to easily build friendships rooted in similar interests. These relationships are essentially networking opportunities – people to call on when it comes time for a side project or maybe in the future, starting a new business with the friend they met at summer camp!
Resilience – The moment a child faces a challenge without Mom or Dad around and comes through like a champ is a moment when they learn and practice resilience. Summer camp is filled with opportunities for developing resilience and, as a result, your child will come home with more confidence and self-regard.
At camp, children often learn they’re stronger than they give themselves credit for.
Sportsmanship – Whether your child is playing board games, learning how to cook or participating in sports, they are taught the value of fair, generous behavior toward others. Sportsmanship will benefit your child in school and in the friendships they make.
Decision-Making – Summer camp is an outstanding experience for teaching kids independence, and a big part of independence is making well-informed decisions. Camp environments are structured, offer options and help kids understand situations so they learn about the pros and cons of decision-making in safe surroundings.
Confidence – With activity and growth comes success or failure. Whether it’s basketball or 3D modeling, each activity comes with its own set of mini milestones and tests. Some of these activities might be brand new to your child, while others could be extensions of what they already know and love.
Courage – It’s not easy for a child or their parents when it’s time to go to camp for the first time. Yet at camp, kids learn so much about what they are capable of. Children have many opportunities to step out of their comfort zone and try new things, from new sports or activities to making new friends. Courage is like a muscle; it develops with repeated use and your child will be encouraged to try new things, and rewarded for doing so.
Appreciation and Gratitude – Let us not forget, time away from home helps kids appreciate home, their parents, their siblings, their belongings, a home-cooked meal and everything else that they might miss while at camp.
As many of us reflect back on our summer camp experience, we might say that some of our fondest memories were those sunny, summer camp experiences that we had as we were growing up…preserving those simple, unplugged, childhood memories for a lifetime.
And although your child may miss their phone, tablet or gaming system at first, once they start exploring, interacting with their peers, engaging in a variety of activities and having new adventures, they are sure to leave summer camp with stories, memories, friendships and life lessons that, they too, will remember for a lifetime.Interested in learning more about our Summer@Stratford program? Visit us online at www.stratfordschools.com/summer.