Summer camp isn’t just a fun place where your kids go over the summer. They will learn valuable lessons and life skills there that will stay with them long after summer ends. One of the greatest summer camp benefits is that it happens just before the school year starts. This gives campers a great opportunity to practice what they learned with their peers and neighbors. Here are just a few of the benefits of camp your child will use during the school year.
Camp teaches kids to cope without technology.
Studies show that children can spend more than 7.5 hours a day on various gadgets. If they’re also on screens, they’re missing out on important hands-on activities and social interactions. Most camps, however, have bans on technology and don’t allow campers to use smartphones, game consoles, or other screens during their stay.
Not only does this teach children how to engage with the world without the need for a screen, but it helps them to become less reliant on technology to get through life. Most of us pull out our phones when we’re bored, want to procrastinate, or want a quick answer. At camp, kids learn to pick up a book or talk to a friend when they’re bored. Schedules keep them from procrastinating. And kind counselors are around to help answer difficult questions or problems.
At school, kids can apply the same skills to enacting discipline over their phone use, prioritizing their work, and staying engaged during class, instead of always being on their phones.
Camp promotes play time and rest.
Phone use and procrastination sometimes speak not to boredom but overwhelming stress. Balancing school schedules, homework, and extracurricular activities can leave children feeling burnt out and exhausted. If they don’t know how to take breaks and rest when they need it, this could lead to bad habits of overcommitment or long-term burnout in the future.
Camps know that playtime is important for kids. The American Academy of Pediatrics even has a study saying that time for free and unstructured play is necessary for children. Why? Because playtime isn’t just for fun. It helps kids relieve stress. It helps them bond with others. It gives them an outlet for emotional needs. Under the right care, playtime can help children develop great social and emotional management skills.
Camps carefully balanced activities with time to rest and relax. Learning this balance will serve your kids well at school and beyond. It’s one of the best benefits of camp.
Camp promotes independence.
Sending your child to sleep away camp is never easy, for the parent or the child. But though it hurts to imagine, someday children will go off on their own in the world. If they are too dependent on anything or anyone, it will only hinder them in the future. Growing a strong sense of confidence and independence is crucial for a child’s development.
At camp, your child will learn that they can’t rely just on you for help. They learn to rely on their counselors, friends, and most importantly, themselves when they face trouble. They learn to take responsibility for their actions. Camp Cody even has a program where campers get to choose what activities they do, further promoting independence and good decision-making.
When their independence and good decisions pay off, it builds esteem and confidence that will help them during the school year. Schools are full of challenges, but if your child has the independence and problem-solving skills they learned at camp, they will be able to handle any adversity they may face.
Camp helps children discover themselves.
Schools are not always friendly places for developing minds. It’s easy to get stuck with a label, or pushed into a clique, or become a part of a group you don’t like because of a fear of not fitting in. One of the benefits of summer camp is that these barriers come down. Most camps assign children randomly so they can make friends with new people instead of forming cliques. They get to break out of their normal routine and environment and try something new.
Being in a new place with a different culture, schedule, and pace will give your child time to breathe, but also time to explore who they truly are. Maybe they’ll discover that they love arts and crafts instead of sports. Maybe they’ll learn that, though they’re usually shy, they are natural-born leaders. Maybe they’ll become friends with people they never thought they could befriend. The opportunities are endless. Your child could come back from camp a different, but happier and more confident person.
Camp teaches children valuable life skills.
The other benefits discussed so far are definitely skills that camp teaches, but there are many more practicalities that children learn at camp that they may not learn at school. According to The Partnership for 21st Century Skills, there is a large gap between the knowledge students learn in school and the skills they need to be successful as adults in this century.
To be successful adults, the organization determined children need to learn communication, collaboration, creativity, leadership, socialization, and problem solving from a young age. But at camp, children practice all of these skills in great detail. They’re always talking and communicating together, from the bunk beds to the sports fields. They practice leadership in groups and activities. They learn independence and solve problems on their own. And they have many creative outlets through different activities and electives at camp.
Educate your child holistically at Camp Cody
Of all the benefits of camp, the best is that it allows your child to grow and learn holistically. Schools focus on academics and professional development, but camp focuses on a child’s social and emotional development. It’s a place where they can feel safe and supported to try new things. At Camp Cody, they’ll be challenged to grow every day as part of a supportive, inclusive community. Learn more about our holistic approach to camp and see why Cody is the best place for your child to spend their summer!