Once school is out, the learning does not have to end. Summer camp provides kids from the opportunity to exercise their minds and bodies in a variety of ways. There is much more to camp than just a good time. Camp offers the time and safe place for campers to test their limits and overcome their fears.
For the last century and a half, experiential education in summer camp settings has played an integral role in children’s overall development – cognitive, physical and social-emotional. Here are 10 reasons why your child shouldn’t miss out on the unique growth experience that awaits this summer at camp:
1. Development of critical-thinking and leadership skills
Camp provides the perfect environment for your child to learn and practice individual and group decision-making, how to socialize and navigate their interactions with others, and how to resolve conflict and other issues that may arise when living and working together closely.
2. Increased physical activity
From canoeing and hiking to soccer and tag, an ongoing workout is a natural part of the day.
3. Unplug from technology
In our world, it is impossible to get away from cell phones, social media and TV… or so we thought! Summer camp allows kids to completely unplug from their tablets, computers and phones to develop meaningful friendships while taking in the beauty of the outdoors.
4. Exposure to diversity
Camp connects kids to those who they may not normally meet. Kids learn the world is a big place with lots of people, who might do things differently than they’re used to. That includes other kids from all over the state and beyond – and the camp’s counselors and leaders, who serve as positive role models who can leave a huge impression.
5. Self-esteem boost
When kids are at camp, they don’t have mom and dad there to help them approach people and make connections. They have to put themselves out there. Learning how to canoe or developing archery skills also makes a child realize how capable he or she is to learn and grow. According to the American Camp Association, 92 percent of kids who attend camp say that the people at camp helped them feel good about themselves.
6. Attune to nature
Being outside has been proven to reduce stress levels, improve mood and simultaneously stimulate all of a child's senses. Kids today spend much less time outdoors, causing a “nature deficit” according to many reports. But camp reconnects them with nature, seeing things like frogs and trails in person and experiencing swimming in a lake or hiking along a path.
7. Develops independence
Kids are empowered at camp to take care of themselves, with guidance from camp counselors. Bedtimes are set and schedules are packed, but children still have to get themselves up and ready, make their camp beds and find their way to the mess hall. And kids a little too attached to mom and dad can learn how to trust themselves to make decisions and take care of themselves.
8. Reduced summer learning loss
Studies have shown that during summer vacation, students can lose the equivalent of up to three months of what they've learned during the school year. Camp programming keeps a child’s brain active, alert, and acquiring knowledge and skills.
9. Instills leadership skills
Because camps allow kids to make choices and direct summer projects, they’re natural leadership training places. These kids are less likely to be affected by peer pressure and more likely to set the pace and tone for other kids – and feel empowered in tasks they take on throughout their lives.
10. Memories that will last a lifetime
When the summer ends, camp memories live on in children’s hearts and minds. Kids have tons of memories of the good times, silly shenanigans and fun activities. It’s a time of discovery and self-improvement that stays with a kid long into adulthood.
Camp provides children with the core values of dependability, unselfishness, honesty, kindness, respect and responsibility. We would love to have your son or daughter join us at one of our exciting West Ohio Camps. There is so much to experience at Camp Otterbein, Camp Wesley and Camp Widewater. To register, or for more information, check out our website at www.westohiocamps.org.