The camp experience doesn't just provide kids with something to do while on vacation from school; it can leave them with meaningful skills, new friends, and exposure to potential new interests. Moreover, there are various types of camp experiences that can be found to suit your child's particular needs. Led by individuals with kid-friendly expertise, these camps can help children grow and develop in enriching ways. According to the American Camp Association, personal attributes like self-esteem and leadership are developed by promoting the “four “C’s” of the camp community: compassion, contribution, commitment, and character!” (1)
Many grown-ups once attended day camp as children. Time was spent doing various activities from outdoor games to indoor crafts. With time thrown in for park play and even field trips, these camps help children build friendships as they participate in various activities. Many children miss the structure of school and the day camp experience provides them with a meaningful structure designed to fill up their day with fun and engaging things to do. Rather than lounging at home in front of the game system, kids learn to play together and to interact with the world around them.
Sports camps like tennis camp, for instance, are designed to help young athletes build their skills and learn new ones. Different than a team practice, the camp experience is all about skill building and not so much about winning next weekend's big game. People who have excelled at the sport in question and know how to train youth to better their performance staff these camps. Many areas boast camps for cheerleading, gymnastics, and other sports too.
Various organizations or groups understand that not all children want to play a sport during the summer. On the contrary, summer is the perfect time to indulge other interests. Many kids love to participate in arts and crafts. As school programs have notoriously decreased or even cut access to these programs, many organizations in the community have decided to fill the need. Your child might want to participate in a camp designed for painting, drawing, or some other art. Check your area for art programs designed for kids of all ages.
Summer is a great time to find out about other camps that may encourage new hobbies. Without school academics to fill up their time, kids can spend more time on other meaningful interests and pursuits. For instance, kids might find a music-based camp to be more up their alley. On the other hand, a jewelry making camp could be a perfect summer activity for your child. A jewelry making camp will allow kids to “be led on an adventurous exploration of jewelry mediums such as clay, beading, and resin to create innovative jewelry projects all their own.” (2)
There are so many benefits associated with the camp experience. Parents will enjoy knowing that children aren't wasting their time but are still enjoying themselves through developmental activities. Kids also enjoy making new friends at camps. The alternative social situation to school helps them branch out and understand that the world of people is bigger than their classroom! Be sure to find out more about the camps that are offered in your area so you can provide your kids with fun new experiences.
1. American Camp Association,“Benefits of Camp” - http://www.campparents.org/expert/benefitscamp
2. Dragonfly Designs, “Jewelry Making Camps” - http://www.jewelrybydfly.com/jewelry-making-camps.html