Spring has sprung and Summer is near! Are you one of the thousands of families considering sending your children to summer camp? Summer camps provide children with a unique opportunity to explore the great outdoors, make new friends, and learn valuable life skills in a fun and supportive environment. While many families may view summer camp as simply a way to keep their children entertained during the summer months, the benefits of attending camp go far beyond mere entertainment.
7 Benefits of Summer Camp
Although every summer camp operates differently with various activities and events, the advantages of sending your kiddos to camp are universal! Here are some benefits of sending your child to summer camp:
Don’t Have to Worry About Entertainment/Food
School may be out, but that doesn’t mean parents get a break! In fact, roughly 3% of parents say they stay at home full-time (and can afford to watch their children full-time). School isn’t just a source of education. For parents, school is an opportunity for children to be somewhere while they are working and be provided with food and social interaction. So when summer break rolls around, camp becomes the number one option to replace these crucial aspects.
Although summer camp pricing can vary, the price usually includes meals, snacks, activities, entertainment, supplies, and sleeping accommodations (if it is an overnight camp). This means that camp is the perfect solution for all-around exploration and meals while parents are at work. A lot of daycares often have summer camp programs for as many days of the week you need for day camp.
*If you are one of the millions of families that rely on free or reduced-price meals during school, check out the Summer Food Service Program created by the USDA. Search for a local program near you so you don’t have to worry about your child’s summer meals.
More Time for Friends & Play
At camp, children can get a much-needed break from rigorous academics without losing the structure they need. Summer camp is a great way to make new friends who share the same interests. It is also an opportunity to interact with peers from diverse backgrounds, and develop social skills that are important for their growth and development!
Children bond over their camp experience, the challenges they face together, and the media-free fun they have to build genuine friendships that last. They may also find that there are kids they don’t like that much and that is okay. Learning these crucial social skills and how to handle the emotions of new friendships is very important. These types of skills can only be learned through actually experiencing the joys and challenges of making friends!
Plus, they will be having endless fun on field trips, doing crafts, and experiencing nature with some of their best friends!
Screen-Free Fun Activities (Physical Activity)
Both adults and children spend too much time in front of screens. In total, children can spend more than seven and a half hours a day in front of a screen! Too much media consumption cuts into sleep and reading time and may have a negative effect on academic achievement.
Children interact with the excitement of life outside of screens during camp. Camp provides children with opportunities to engage in fun, challenging activities that stimulate their minds and creativity. Many camps offer lots of outdoor activities such as sports, hiking, and swimming. 30 minutes of outside activity a day can help children stay active and healthy, so imagine what almost an entire day outside can do.
A child’s brain, body, soul, and future depend on time spent away from screens, which could benefit us all.
Exposure to Nature
Speaking of outside activities… Nature exposure is just as important too.
Spending too much time inside can dull anyone’s senses! Your child has the opportunity to see nature firsthand when they are outside. Life becomes richer, more complete, and all around more enjoyable as one’s senses expand. Many summer camps take place in beautiful outdoor locations, providing children with opportunities to connect with nature and develop an appreciation for the environment. Children who may not ordinarily have the opportunity to experience nature can have their curiosities soar while taking in the beauty of the outdoors.
Above all, spending time outside promotes mobility, which is essential for good physical, mental, and emotional health. Children can run, skip, jump, climb, laugh, and enjoy the fresh air outside. Also, they receive a good amount of vitamin D from the sun (but don’t forget the sunscreen!).
Learning Life-Long Skills
During summer camp, children engage in a range of group activities. Your kiddo will have opportunities to learn new skills and hobbies, such as arts and crafts, music, drama, and nature exploration. These skills will help them out for years to come.
Camp helps them discover their interests and talents, and may even lead to a lifelong passion. For instance, a child will develop leadership skills by guiding their peers on a hike or through a team-building game. Or, a child will develop stronger communication skills when dividing up chores at camp. These simple and fun activities are all subconsciously fostering growth in your little camper!
Oftentimes, camp may be one of the first times a child is away from their parents for an extended period of time (if it is an overnight camp). Being away from home, children learn to become more self-reliant, self-sufficient, and responsible for their actions.
Children’s sense of identity is developed during this independent time, which is crucial. As they explore their hobbies and identify their skills, kids learn to be more self-reliant. Instead of relying on a parent or teacher to tell them what to do, they learn to trust their inner voice. In order to become a self-sufficient adult, independence is essential.
Resiliency is an important life skill. Learning to be resilient means to get up and keep trying after a setback. Children have the chance to experience a variety of problems at camp and practice conquering them. Maybe they might not succeed in climbing the rock wall right away, but they will learn to keep going and not give up. Once they learn to reach the top, they will experience greater strength and resiliency.
As they overcome obstacles with perseverance, dedication, and a will to achieve, camp teaches kids the importance of hard work and fosters their self-esteem. Acquiring new hobbies also teaches kids constructive ways to deal with life’s challenges. On top of that, they will be motivated and supported by their fellow campers and staff!
Overall, summer camp can be an enriching and rewarding experience for children, providing them with opportunities for personal growth, socialization, and fun! If you’re in the Kenosha/Racine area and are looking for a summer camp, consider Cornerstone Academy’s summer program!