With the school year coming to an end, along comes with it stress and anxiety about final tests and grades. Whether your child can remember the year of the Stamp Act or can perform well in a stressful testing environment, doesn’t paint the full picture of their development. Do they have the confidence to try new experiences? To teach and help someone else? To problem solve, and work with others to overcome a seemingly impossible task? School can only teach children so much.
Summer camps offer life lessons not often found in schools. In a safe, welcoming environment, full of challenges and support, friendships and experiences, children are given the chance to grow and change and become better people. They learn to appreciate the nature around them and their worlds are widened by the people they meet. These are the life lessons that summer camp offers for a child’s development:
Confidence & Bravery
Just like adults, children tend to avoid unfamiliar things because of the fear of failure or looking foolish. The pass-or-fail culture of school certainly doesn’t help. At summer camp, children step out of their comfort zone while being supported and encouraged by their camp friends and staff. Taking risks, sometimes failing, sometimes succeeding, but always learning and growing, give children a solid foundation of confidence that lasts a lifetime.
Working well with others is an important skill at every stage in life. Campers learn to work together to keep their cabins clean and organized and get to where they need to be (meals, activities, etc.). They also learn to support and encourage each other and help each other do their best at each activity. When kids learn to be team players, they’re more likely to build strong, supportive relationships with their peers and family members, and accomplish more than they would by working alone.
Every child is an artist if their creative imagination is embraced and encouraged. Summer camp provides a space, creative outlet for children to explore a new interest or dive deeper into a passion. Camp offers a wide range of creative activities for children to experiment with – from traditions activities such as painting and theater to untraditional ones like quilt sewing and candle making.
Unlike school, campers are allowed to fail and try again. Summer camp allows children to grow at their own pace; try new methods of how to succeed without a set time limit of learning. Children must make mistakes and learn from them so they know how to cope with success and failure in life.
Summer camp teaches children to be kind. The closeness that develops when sharing camp life together is truly remarkable. Sharing so many meals, chores, games, songs, cheers, laughs – inspires kindness towards others. Heartfelt relationships are created. Being a part of this community allows campers to become more trusting, and paves the way toward greater resilience and self-confidence.
Independence is a vital life skill. Summer camp provides a supportive space for children to naturally grow into who they are, make choices about what to do, who to sit with, and which activities to do. Campers become more self-sufficient and better able to solve their problems, and knowing when to ask for help when they need it.