Parents want the best opportunities for their children.
They want them to be happy, healthy, foster good relationships with others and feel confident in who they are. Although school environments help to socialize children, many children struggle throughout the summer months.
Summer camp has proven to benefit children in more ways that one. While fresh air and exposure to new friends are benefits of summer camp, there are plenty more advantages in sending your children away for the summer.
Are you considering sending your children to summer camp?
Whether your children are first-time campers or back for another year, you’re sure to witness the positive effect camp has on children.
Let’s uncover the five hidden benefits of summer camp we might not have initially considered.
1. Develop Independence
Teaching the notion of independence to children can be a challenge for parents.
As children grow up, it’s only natural to develop a sense of dependence on their chosen group of friends. These are friends they often go to school with, participate in extra-curricular activities with and spend their free time on weekends with.
That being said, sending your children to summer camp challenges them to develop a sense of independence that may be absent at home. It encourages them to get outside of their comfort zone and form new friendships.
This gives kids the opportunity to live and thrive without being under the supervision and control of parents. It motivates children to learn the skills necessary to cope without the comfort of parents and feel empowered.
These are all important skills that are going to guide your child throughout the many changes and stages throughout their lives.
2. Get Unplugged
One of the most important benefits of summer camp in the modern world is the simplicity of being able to unplug.
Today, kids can often be identified by the light of a blue glow and upturned thumbs. This is the result of too much time spent in the company of phones and video games, and too little time spent outdoors.
Camp gives kids the opportunity to engage less with their devices and more with the outside world.
Although technology continues to develop many camp programs follow the classic camp model. And, fortunately for all, this model predates life before social media and the internet.
This allows campers the opportunity to interact with one another and form relationships that may otherwise not be possible. When kids no longer have the option to interact with friends and families through the lens of social media, it encourages them to interact with and make friends with the other kids at camp.
In most cases, kids won’t realize how much they needed a break from technology until they are given one.
3. Outdoor Education
Sending your child to camp is giving them the gift of the outdoors.
When children are away from school, it’s important that they remain engaged, curious and continue to learn. One of the natural benefits of summer camp is that your child will be immersed in the joys of the outdoor world.
From learning how to build a fire to identifying different plants species, kid’s interest will remain joyfully intact. This is a natural learning environment that children will actually enjoy being a part of.
Studies agree that kids who play outside are smarter, happier, more attentive and less anxious that those who spend the majority of their time indoors. Studies also reveal that information learned in a natural environment is the information that will stick best in a child’s mind.
And so, while it may sometimes seem that kids nowadays prefer to spend time indoors, it’s clear the benefits of spending time outdoors are exceptionally worthwhile.
4. Give’s Children Positive Role Models
One of the greatest benefits of summer camp is the relationship developed between a counselor and their campers. This is, without a doubt, one of the most valuable outcomes in sending your children to camp.
Camp counselors have the ability to provide a natural guidance to campers in a way that is not easily paralleled by adults. Their approach is fun, easy-going and organically provides campers with a role model to aspire toward.
When campers see the positivity radiating through their counselors, they strive to radiate that same positivity and the counselor becomes a natural role model and mentor. Studies reveal that 46% of children that have a positive mentor in their life report a “high sense of self” as compared to only 25% of children who do not have a mentor.
While parents may often serve as role models for their children, children react best to role models closer in age and with similar interests.
5. Creates Long-Term Friendships
The friendships developed in a camp settling are different than those developed outside of camp.
Camp allows children to build significantly special bonds and connections to other campers. The uncomplicated life offered at camp enables kids to connect with one another and develop close relationships.
Many campers begin camp around the age of eight or nine. From here, campers continue to come back to camp each summer. Naturally, when the same campers return each and every summer, a special relationship is sure to flourish.
The difference here is camp introduces children to such a diverse group of others they may not have encountered in their home turf. Small town kids from the country are introduced to big city kids from urban neighborhoods.
What results are unique and bonding friendships that may otherwise have been overlooked in a school environment?
Benefits of Summer Camp
As the school year comes to a close, making the decision to send your son or daughter to camp is sure to benefit all.
From introducing them to life-long friendships, encouraging outdoor interaction and spending a little more time unplugged, it’s clear why camp has become such a popular summertime escape for children. For new campers and old campers alike, a summertime spent at camp is never to be forgotten.
To learn more benefits of sending your child to summer camp, be sure to check out our blog.