My kids go to summer camp every year. They are still a little too young to go to overnight camp, but we will be considering it next year for the oldest. I lead summer camps every year, and from the camp director’s perspective, I can assure you summer camp is a valuable use of time and resources. It is such a positive experience that every year we give scholarships to children who would not be able to go otherwise.
Why you should send your kids to summer camp:
1. Make new friends. Making friends is an art. You get a lot of practice at summer camp to learn this valuable skill. Other campers are often different from your child and they will explore and negotiate friendships with diverse campers.
2. Trying out a new personality is fun. Breaking away from the reputation you have already is so freeing. If you are class clown at school, you can be taken seriously. If you are the brainy kid at school, you can try being the funny one. If you have few friends, you can make many.
3. Increased confidence. Each activity at camp allows another opportunity to have a success. From social agility to improving academic skills or discovering their creative side, confidence is nurtured and formed.
4. Experience frustration. I know this doesn’t seem like a good thing, but children learn from pushing through those frustrating moments and achieving success at he other end.
5. Develop a love of learning. Trying something new: a language, art, science, sports, or anything under the sun is a good venue for creating a life long learner.
7. Learn social skills. Negotiating leadership roles, finding common ground, being supportive to allow for someone else’s idea to shine are all valuable social skills. So is failing and getting back up to try again.
8. Meet new role models. Many camps have High School or College counselors. These young leaders set an example for children to follow. They also allow for more direct interaction with your child – giving them more attention that they might get in class or on a sports team.
9. Expand their vocabulary. New people, places, and things, lead to new words with which to describe them. Accents, idioms, and frankly unfamiliar words are likely to be encountered.
10. You will miss them. They will miss you (a little). Absence makes the heart grow fonder, right?
“I like summer camp because you get to meet new friends and you get to see places you don’t normally get to see,” says Cosmo Boy.