As our world becomes more digitalized and indoor, isolating activities have become the norm. The benefits of summer camp and getting children outside and at summer camp has never been more important. Staying inside and looking at screens has disconnected children from real people and the real world, robbing them of precious opportunities to learn, grow, and explore. If they are to become the adults of tomorrow, it’s essential to give them a rich childhood experience in the best environment possible. And summer camp is the best place to do that.
Here are just a few of the reasons why you should consider signing your child up for summer camp:
Camp Provides Interactions with New Peers and Adults
Meeting new people, especially in a socially-distanced environment, has become almost impossible. But at summer camp, your child will have perhaps the chance to be around new and different people for the first time in awhile. Young children especially may struggle with making new friends and meeting new people. But good summer camps take extra measures to ensure every child has the chance to interact with others in a safe environment. No child will feel unwelcome or unsafe.
Campers get random assignments for their bunks to make new friends they may not otherwise know, but get to choose their activities to find friends with similar interests. We also carefully select our staff with an intense hiring process so only the best work with your children. They seek to become friends, mentors, and role models of good behavior and relationships. Counselors are energetic, fun, social, and excellent at interpersonal skills. They love kids, camp, and have great problem-solving skills for whatever may happen with the campers. They teach these skills to the kids, who will carry these social learning skills with them past summer.
We also work with campers to give them the skills they need to interact with new peers and new adults. Our staff does everything from playing ice breaker games to holding conversations about difficult life situations. By interacting with adults who speak to them at their level and are there to help, they will become more comfortable engaging with adults and other children once camp is over.
Camp Provides Teachable Moments in a New Environment
When at home, most children get into a routine they’re comfortable with. While there’s nothing wrong with routines, anyone knows that life does not always go to plan. Learning how to deal with spontaneous or “teachable moments” is an important life skill, and not one easily learned when surrounded by the same people and places for too long. It’s only natural to stick with activities and entertainment that are familiar and easy. But those things don’t usually push children to grow.
We plan things very carefully, but we also encourage children to be spontaneous and learn to be flexible. We encourage them to try new things. They can try an activity they’ve never done, like Kayaking, Cooking, or Water Skiing. Or they can try talking to someone different from them. And when things do happen that push them out of their comfort zone, we make sure they are never dealing with it on their own. Instead, we teach them to look at the situation from a new point of view–mistakes are only mistakes if we don’t learn from them. And sometimes they can turn into great, even fun experiences.
Even though summer camp is a new and unfamiliar environment, our staff does their best to make sure it is a supportive one, a safe one. Here, they can try new things and know that they have their friends and mentors to fall back on. They learn to live in community and how to prepare for the unexpected adventures in life. It is one of the most important parts of summer camp.
Camp Gives Children Unstructured Creative Play Time
Of course, there is always some structure and scheduling at camp. But, there is also plenty of free time for campers to simply run around and play on the beach, playground, or woods. It’s usually during this time that children get to let their imaginations run wild, and their creativity shape their play. Instead of merely watching TV or playing video games, they get to chart their own courses. They can transform the woods into a fairytale glade, the playground into a castle, the lake into an ocean.
This unstructured time will give them the chance to gain and refine important skills like critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity. It is these skills and cultivating them that are some of the greatest benefits of summer camp.
Camp Gives Opportunities to Experience and Express Emotions
Children are continually learning how to explore and deal with their emotions. So much of childhood is learning how to regulate and deal with our emotions. As they enter a new environment and leave their comfort zone, it’s only natural that they may feel scared or frightened, or even alone at first. They may grow frustrated as they seek to learn a new skill they haven’t done before. They may have to think harder than before to overcome a problem. They might even lose at something they care about.
However, emotions are not merely good or bad, but tools we use to voice our feelings and work through them. That’s why our staff encourages deep genuine connections with campers and each other, so they can come forward with these feelings. Our staff then has conversations with them to help them process what’s happening, and move forward with it.
In that safe environment, where they know they are loved and cared for, children are more likely to develop confidence and take risks, both socially and emotionally, that will help them grow. And when everything is over, they will have real life experiences and valuable lessons learned that will help them for years to come.
Benefit From Camp Cody
There are so many other more nurturing, life-changing skills and values that camp can give you and your family. Give your child all the amazing benefits of summer camp by signing up today for Camp Cody!