If you are doing the ‘should we, shouldn’t we?’ dance
around the idea of sending your child to summer camp, here are a few things
to consider. Summer camps can be a wonderful growth opportunity for your
children where they can acquire new talents, develop their social skills
and have a more meaningful experience.
From mastering a musical instrument, to developing academic skills or learning
a new language, there is a camp for just about everything. If you feel
your child is lacking in a specific area, or you want to hone their already
exceptional skills, you can find a summer camp that will help them to
develop while having a whole bunch of fun.
Kids, Meet Mother Nature
It may be difficult for you to instill a love of nature in your child when
you aren’t a nature lover yourself or if you live in a city. However,
fostering a love of natural places, studies show, increases their happiness.
It will also develop a more eco-friendly outlook and all that fresh air
and sunshine is exactly what the doctor ordered.
Most kids don’t move enough, especially with the lure of screen time
and TV, sleeping late and all the other sedentary activities that time
off offers. Going to summer camp will give your kids the opportunity to
get active and get outdoors with tons of fun activities. Pick a camp that
emphasizes play and provides healthy, balanced meals.
Being more independent
Learning to do things on their own, gaining independence and bolstering
confidence are all consequences of a positive summer camp experience.
Not only do your kids learn to be more mature, but you get a chance to
rest and recharge in preparation for another academic year.
Making new friends
Without parents and teachers around, children will be faced with a number
of new social situations and personalities which they must navigate on
their own. This is wonderful preparation for their future and can really
help them to feel more mature and independent. They will also make new
friends and meet people from a variety of social circles which can help
to broaden their horizons.
It can be difficult to instill a sense of responsibility in your kids;
after all you are always there to find lost sports gear, to help with
assignments at the last minute and to show them how to navigate the difficulties
they experience socially. But what may be best for your children is to
learn to take responsibility for their actions; a vital first step in
thinking of consequences and regulating their own behavior. At summer
camp, they need to take care of their own gear, work together as a team
and take responsibility for their social interactions which can be a very
valuable confidence-building exercise.
Of course, not all summer camps are created equally, so make sure to include
your child in the selection process so that they end up at a camp that
suits their personality and needs. Ask other parents, tutors and teachers
for recommendations and research online to find the best options.