Summer camp has always been a wonderful experience for kids. But now more than ever, in a time when kids have been indoors and disconnected from friends, it can be an integral part of children’s lives. Through intrapersonal relationships, connection to nature, and exposure to new activities, summer camp can fill the gap of play that so many kids have been sorely lacking. If you are not sure what to do with your kids this summer, here are 10 benefits your kids get from summer camp:
At summer camp kids face new challenges that help them gain a sense of resiliency. While the challenges are fun, they provide your child with activities they can conquer and learn how to take safe risks that teach them more about how to accept failure. They learn new things in a non-judgmental environment where their successes are celebrated, and their failures teach them about limitations and trying again. They learn from their mistakes and are better able to cope with the realities of life.
Through new experiences, children help build self-esteem. Summer camp helps teach kids they can try new things and develop confidence because they see their successes, but also accept failures. They become confident in their capability and become more and more comfortable trying new things. Every day they have the chance to achieve something new, so they are constantly learning about themselves and their strengths.
More time spent away from home teaches children more independence. They become more self-reliant participating in different things and completing tasks on their own that their caretakers might usually do for them. This includes things such as cooking, but even basic skills such as putting things away after completing an arts and craft project or using sports equipment. Kids also get to make more choices which also teaches them independence.
4. Social Skills
Summer camp puts kids in group situations where they learn social skills. They understand the importance of respecting others and how to share. They become more tolerant as they are exposed to different people. Their social behaviors improve as they learn how to make friends, see how we are all different, but also how we are also very much the same!
5. Tolerance and Respect
Through social experiences, kids also learn tolerance. They meet new people, try new foods, experience new activities, and understand that everyone of all ages and walks of life deserves respect. Because everyone shares the same responsibilities at camp, they learn how we are all equals and through communication, they develop a sense of respect and responsibility towards others. They gain an appreciation for the importance of working together to create happier, more harmonious communities.
6. New Friendships
Your child will meet new children and have the opportunity to make new friends. This teaches them new interests and focuses on how we all have something to offer each other. Beyond friendships with other children is the importance of the bond between counselor and camper. It’s important for kids to feel valued by people outside of their age group and camp counselors provide a fun, encouraging friendship.
7. Working in a Group
Beyond friendship, children at summer camp experience group dynamics in new ways. They can discover the importance of communication and expressing their needs while learning about sharing through group participation. Many are encouraged to learn leadership skills in various group situations as well.
8. Self-Respect and Character Building
It takes many different experiences to help build a person’s character. New experiences are one of the most exciting aspects of summer camp. Children learn a sense of responsibility when they are constantly faced with new challenges. They become more resourceful and develop problem-solving skills. As mentioned, they also develop a sense of confidence which in turn helps them develop more self-respect. They see what they are capable of and see strengths in others they might admire. As a result, they might be inspired to improve their own character and qualities.
9. Community Living/Service Skills
Children learn the importance of community and in hand with camp counsellors develop healthy intergenerational relationships. Everything is new and allows them to participate in firsthand experiences that provide skills they will keep for life. When surrounded by caring adult role models, they feel more capable and find inclusion in a welcoming, tolerant community. Children learn independence and see how each individual’s actions directly affect the community. This encourages important social skills and shows them what it means to be a “citizen” in a community with a sense of fairness and the need to develop trust with those around them.
We can’t forget the importance of kids just being kids. Summer camp reduces boredom and provides hours of fun for your child. They will meet new friends, develop new skills, and remain active and engaged instead of being stuck in front of the TV or a computer all day.
Summer camp helps your child develop important social and life skills while building wonderful childhood memories.