I treasure the stories my children tell after arriving home from summer camp. The week-long adventures include experiences sure to build character and bond relationships. Every camp has a unique way of teaching kids their value while giving them opportunities to experience all kinds of fun they would never find at home.
The spring months are the perfect time to begin exploring summer camps. To find one that fits your child's needs, seek out opinions from friends and neighbors; ask teachers and church counselors what camps they recommend. Whether day camp or overnight camp, there's sure to be one your child will love and gain valuable skills from while attending.
Camp counselor Jamie Newman, who has worked the past two summers at a children's camp for children ages 5-16, expresses her enthusiasm for sending kids to camp. “Camp encourages kids to try new things and teaches them confidence through new experiences. They learn valuable life lessons when encouraged to work through their fears and try something even if it doesn't feel comfortable to them. Also, when kids are thrown together in a cabin for a week, they're forced to learn how to get along with others and often build lasting relationships that can continue when they return home,” Newman says.
Our five kids have attended summer camps ranging from athletic camps and church camps to choir and band camps. Each camp plays a unique role in building character qualities and creating life-long memories through everyday activities and interactions with others during their stay.
If you need some encouragement to give your child the gift of summer camp, here are thoughts to consider:
- Camp encourages independence and allows children a chance to make decisions on their own in a safe, caring environment. Kids benefit from new relationships with camp counselors who care about them and want to help them with everyday struggles.
- Camp forces kids to unplug from technology and enjoy the beauty and benefits of nature. Through outside activities, kids find new hobbies they can't experience at home, without academic pressure or expectations. Kids gain self-confidence through trying new things and discovering talents they didn't know they had.
- Camp teaches good sportsmanship by encouraging each child to be fair and kind, win or lose. Team activities teach kids how to cooperate with one another and the value of getting along with others through working together and supporting one another.
- Camp fosters new friendships with kids who come from varying backgrounds–helping kids gain an understanding of how others live outside their community. In a relaxed atmosphere, kids easily make friends while they play, sing, work, eat, and bunk together.
- Camp creates lifelong memories of new adventures in places they've never experienced before. Camp offers carefree days where kids can learn how to thrive outside the structure of over-scheduled days during the school year.
So what are you waiting for? Have you signed your child up for camp yet? Adventure and character-building experiences are waiting for your child this summer! ■