10 Reasons to Send Your Child to Camp
Camps are fun. But why are they important? In a world gone tech crazy, sometimes the great outdoors is just that: great. Here are 10 reasons why every child should go to camp.
1. Exposure to diversity
Camp connects kids to those who they may not normally meet. Kids learn the world is a big place with lots of people, who might do things differently than they’re used to. That includes other kids from all over the state and beyond – and the camp’s counselors and leaders, who serve as positive role models who can leave a huge impression. They’re not seen as strict “law enforcers” but older, “cool friends” who care about them.
2. Self-esteem boost
When kids are at camp, they don’t have mom and dad there to help them approach people and make connections. They have to put themselves out there, it teaches the kids confidence when making friends from all over.
Learning how to canoe or developing archery skills also makes a child realize how capable he or she is to learn and grow. According to the American Camp Association, 92 percent of kids who attend camp say that the people at camp helped them feel good about themselves.
3. Attune to nature
Camp gets kids outdoors and enjoying nature. Kids today spend much less time outdoors, causing a “nature deficit” according to many reports and a popular book on the issue, Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv. But camp reconnects them with nature, seeing things like frogs and trails in person and experiencing swimming in a lake or biking along a path.
4. Develops independence
It’s a great way to encourage self-development and also develop independence. Kids are empowered at camp to take care of themselves, with guidance from camp counselors. Bedtimes are set and schedules are packed, but children still have to get themselves up and ready, make their camp beds and find their way to the mess hall. And kids a little too attached to mom and dad can learn how to trust themselves to make decisions and take care of themselves.
5. Instills leadership skills
It teaches them important leadership skills because camps allow kids to make choices and direct summer projects, they’re natural leadership training places. These kids are less likely to be affected by peer pressure and more likely to set the pace and tone for other kids – and feel empowered in tasks they take on throughout their lives.
6. Gives wonderful memories
Camp builds good memories for the future, to enjoy the summer with a lake-front experience, swimming and meeting new friends. Kids have tons of memories of the good times, silly shenanigans and fun activities. It’s a time of discovery and self-improvement that stays with a kid long into adulthood.
7. Helps them make friends
They get to become lifelong friends with people they don’t necessarily live right next door to.
This offers a unique opportunity for your child to branch out in the buddies he or she has. Navigating and building these friendships over the summer also teaches children how to be more socially confident – something they can take back to school with them in the fall.
8. Gets them active
Camp helps kids learn how to be kids again. In this technology-filled world, camps cut back on distractions. Many effectively ban cell phones and computers, so kids can truly take advantage of all summertime has to offer. That means those prone to sit on their duffs and text or play video games are forced to get up – and get moving!
9. Develop interests
Camps are a nurturing environment for a child to explore activities and programs that could turn into lifelong passions. With so much to do at summer camp (archery, swimming, canoeing, crafts, etc.), there are many fun activities for kids to discover.
That’s why it’s the perfect place for your child to tap into an interest that he or she wants to carry on after camp is over. Did your daughter go ga-ga for horseback riding? Perhaps she’s a budding equestrian who would enjoy regular lessons.
10. Occupies the summer
Most parents work over the summer. After all, when school lets out, kids have to go somewhere to spend their time. Camp isn’t just a “parking spot” for kids, though: It also offers fun, excitement and lessons that last.