According to the American Camp Association (ACA), summer camp “provides a non-threatening environment for America’s youth to be active, to develop competence in life skills, to learn about and enhance their own abilities and to benefit from meaningful participation in a community designed just for them.” Kids can apply lessons they learn at summer camp to the challenges they face at school and in life.
Applying social skills learned at summer camp
“I learned to listen to what other people say.” (10-year-old male) (source: ACA)
Social skills help us get along with other people and help us negotiate conflict. They’re particularly important for children to learn as they grow and mature and navigate the world of friendships and relationships. That’s why summer camp is such a valuable experience. Since they spend 24 hours a day with each other in a structured environment, summer camp offers kids a great opportunity to interact with peers and mentors at a deep level and learn to work as a team, to live in community, to listen, make and sustain friendships, and to respect their own and others’ values.
Applying physical skills learned at summer camp
It may not seem like a direct correlation, but the physical engagement at summer camp has a positive affect on children’s grades. According to Dr. Mercola, “researchers have repeatedly found connections between fitness and brain health, which naturally impacts all areas of brain function, such as cognitive thinking skills and memory.” Rather than sit around all summer on their electronic devices, summer camp gives kids the physical activity they need and better prepares them for the academic challenges they’ll face.
Applying life skills learned at summer camp
“My experience helped me look at challenging situations differently and instead of giving up, finding a way around them.” (14-year-old female, Netimus) (source: ACA)
Summer camp inspires kids to try something new and step out of their comfort zone. It fosters independence and self-sufficiency. For example, if a child scrapes their arm and it bleeds, it’s painful and scary but they deal with it without their mom or dad. It also allows them to build self esteem, exercise autonomy, develop leadership skills and problem-solve. Just facing the challenge of being away from parents and dealing with homesickness is a feat in itself.
They learn discipline and perseverance. Challenging themselves to rock climb or kayak will stay with them when they challenge themselves to take an advanced course or have more homework than they think they can handle.
Camppage is one of the nation’s premier online resources for summer camp information in the US and Canada. If you are looking for camps of any kind in the US or Canada check out our directory today.