Sending your child away to sleepaway camp for the first time is a nerve-racking experience for many parents. For some, this experience will be the first time your child is away from home for an extended period.
However scary it might be to leave your son or daughter in the hands of strangers, summer camp is a necessary part of development. Sleepaway camp activities teach kids valuable and long-lasting lessons they can’t learn anywhere else.
Ahead, we’ll take a look at seven life lessons kids learn while attending sleepaway camps.
Independence is the first and most obvious lesson kids learn while spending time away from their family. Camp provides a safe, secure environment where kids can do a bit of growing up in the short time they’re there.
Camp will get your child used to life without their parents looking over their shoulder. They’ll make decisions for themselves, and begin to realize that they’re in control of their own lives.
Shielding your kids from the pains of growing up is a natural parental instinct. Growing up takes away the purity of youth, but preparedness will only make the transition to adulthood easier.
Keeping your child sheltered at home keeps them safe, but it’s often at the cost of developmental advantages offered by sleepaway camps.
Importance of Community
Sleepaway camp activities bring kids together and teach them the importance of working as a team. These activities teach kids how to work together to achieve a desired goal.
Many camps use recreational sports, but some get more creative with their team-building. Either way, kids are learning about teamwork and community the whole time they’re away.
Just by attending a sleepaway camp, your child will be introduced to a new community of peers they’d otherwise never meet. They’ll make new friends and establish relationships that could last a lifetime.
Most camps offer some kind of community service program. These programs teach kids the importance of contributing to the community, as well as offer substantial personal benefits to kids who participate.
They may even find the sense of accomplishment they get is something they’ll look forward to in the future.
A Better Idea of Who They Are
Children model a chunk of their identity after their parents. It isn’t until later in life that kids start developing their own identity, but camp can accelerate the process.
By sending your child to sleepaway camp, you’re exposing them to a host of new kids with different personalities and experiences. There, they’ll learn more about what they like, what they hate, and who they are as a person.
Sleepaway camp activities help develop the individual in a fun, safe environment. School can only bring a child so far. Attending a sleepaway camp can jump-start a child’s development and give them a better sense of the person they’ll grow up to be.
An Appreciation for Their Parents
Most kids who attend sleepaway camps experience some form of homesickness over the course of their stay.
Some may consider this a bad thing, but it’s one of the hidden lessons kids learn while they’re away. Without homesickness, kids wouldn’t appreciate everything their parents do for them.
Allowing your child to spend a week or so away from home helps develop their independence. Independence can be fun, but no child wants to be wholly independent.
Without spending time away from home, it’s easy for kids to take their parents for granted. Camp is supposed to be fun, but many kids will be eager to get back to their regulated home-life after the camp trip ends.
One of the most practical lessons kids learn through sleepaway camp activities is survival skills.
Most sleepaway camps have some camping or outdoor element to them. These activities teach children how to survive if they find themselves in a dire situation later in life.
A lot of people go through life without the ability to survive in a natural setting. Building a fire, fishing, and foraging are skills that everyone should know. Camp gives kids a chance to experience these situations in a safer environment.
Being Uncomfortable Isn’t a Bad Thing
One of the biggest lessons any person can learn is the importance of getting out of their comfort zone.
A simple reality that so many fail to realize is that nothing interesting is ever going to happen if you never put yourself in uncomfortable positions. Sleepaway camp gives kids the opportunity to learn this lesson at a young age.
Being uncomfortable is a part of growth and success. Some people don’t learn the importance of getting out of their comfort zone until college. Some never learn this lesson.
Camp brings kids out of their comfort zone and rewards them with positive memories and experiences.
The Importance of Nature
Having an appreciation and respect for nature is an invaluable quality. Sleepaway camp activities often bring kids into nature to help them get a better sense of the world outside of their typical environment.
We live in a time occupied by computers, smartphones, and video games. Kids would rather spend time on Xbox than outside on a hike.
Sleepaway camp activities eliminate distractions and improve focus by bringing kids into nature – sometimes for the first time.
In these situations, kids experience all the beauty nature has to offer. On top of that, they see that nature is to be respected. A hike through the woods can be an extremely positive experience, but only if you’re prepared.
Life Lessons from Sleepaway Camp Activities
Sleepaway camp activities offer lessons that kids often can’t learn anywhere else. Sending your child to one of these camps can jump-start their development, sense of individuality, and responsibility.
These camps provide a fun, safe environment where kids can get a taste of what it’s like to be independent. This will give them a better appreciation of what their parents do for them.
Camp friendships often last a lifetime, and the lessons these sleepaway camps teach are no different.
Take a look at our blog for more helpful tips and information about sleepaway camps.