What is summer camp? And should you send your child?
Shipping your child off to summer camp can be a little scary, especially if your child has never been away from home. You may wonder worry if your child will be safe or will remember to brush their teeth every night.
If you’re dealing with those concerns, looking at the potential summer camp benefits can help you feel better about the decision.
The benefits of summer camp span from emotional to physical. Kids of all ages and backgrounds can benefit from time away from home at a fun summer camp experience.
Find out why summer camp is important for your child by reading the following benefits.
What Is Summer Camp?
Summer camps come in all different types, from general camps to interest-specific options.
Day camps give younger kids their first taste of camp without spending the night away from home. This option also works well for older kids who aren’t quite ready to spend a week away from you.
Sleepaway camps give kids the full camp experience. They stay in cabins or tents and eat, sleep, and play with their campmates. Camps typically last one week but may be shorter or longer.
No matter what type of summer camp you choose for your child, they stand to enjoy many benefits from the experience.
Meet New Friends
Summer camp draws in kids from all different areas and backgrounds. Campers meet kids they never would have met otherwise.
Some kids sign up for camps with their friends. Return campers might know other people from previous years at the camp.
But there are plenty of new faces at camp each year. That means there are other kids looking for new friends at camp.
It can be challenging to make new friends at school. Social groups are often solidified, and it can be difficult to break into a new social circle when everyone knows each other.
At camp, it’s a more relaxed environment. There aren’t as many preconceived ideas about the other kids.
Camp activities also create a sense of togetherness. All campers are going through the same things and have those shared experiences to help them connect. If you choose a themed camp, the kids have a shared interest in the topic, which can make it easier to connect.
Strengthen Social Skills
Along with meeting new friends, kids learn how to interact with their fellow campers. Living together for a week at sleepaway camp requires kids to navigate those relationships.
They learn to work together and deal with people who are different than they are. They have to listen to one another, consider other campers’ feelings, and learn how to make decisions that benefit everyone.
Summer camp gives your child a chance to participate in activities and practice decision making. Camp is less structured than school, where the teacher often tells the students exactly what to do.
At home, kids often get into a routine and follow the house rules. They night rely on parents to make decisions for them or tell them what to do.
Camps provide a safe environment for kids, but they also encourage independence. Kids might have the option to choose some of their activities. The camp activities might involve safe risk-taking or decision-making.
Going to camp can help kids feel more confident in making choices.
Try New Activities
Spending time at summer camp gives kids access to new activities they might not otherwise experience. Kids who live in the city may not have the chance to canoe, swim in a lake, hike, or go fishing very often.
Most camps create a non-competitive environment. That gives kids a chance to try those activities with less fear over whether or not they’ll be good at them. They can feel success in trying new activities, which improves confidence.
Kids also get the chance to explore nature. Some parents tend to discourage kids from getting dirty or really exploring nature. At camp, they can do that freely.
Explore a Specific Interest
General summer camps fit all types of kids, but you can also sign your child up for a camp with a specific theme or purpose. A leadership camp helps kids develop leadership skills they can use for a lifetime. Sports camp improves physical fitness, improves sports-specific skills, and keeps your child’s interest.
Consider your child’s current interests and activities to look for a camp that matches those areas. Ask your child if there’s something new that they want to test out at camp.
Choosing a themed camp can make the experience more exciting for your child. It’s something that matches their interests and may encourage them to pursue the topic more.
Having trouble convincing your child to get off the couch? It’s recommended for kids to get at least one hour of physical activity each day.
Camp is a fun way to keep your child active and meet those minimum requirements. They often don’t realize just how much exercise they get during camp.
Kids at camp stay busy and active, even if the camp isn’t sports-themed or adventure-based. Kids naturally want to explore their surroundings and keep up with their new friends. Activities often include swimming, hiking, climbing, rowing boats, and doing other physical activities.
The counselors keep kids moving with different activities all day long. Many camps also give kids free time where they can do different activities throughout the day.
Disconnect From Technology
Does your child spend too much time staring at a screen? The typical child watches 3 hours of TV per day and may get as much as 5 to 7 hours of total screen time every day. That’s way over the recommended 1 to 2 hours of daily screen time.
Many camps require kids to leave all types of electronics at home. This forced break from screen time encourages your child to explore other activities. Getting used to doing things away from screens may carry over to activities after camp is over.
Sign Your Child Up for Camp
What is summer camp? It’s a chance for your child to enjoy nature, try new things, and make lifelong friends and memories. Request free info to learn more about sleepaway camp options for your child.