Why Camp Relationships are Important for Social & Emotional Learning
Children spend a good chunk of the most impressionable part of their lives at camp. This gives camps the great responsibility of guiding campers and helping them grow into the adults of tomorrow. Maybe they’ll meet a counselor who mentors a shy camper into a bold leader. Maybe they’ll make a friend who unlocks their passion for soccer or theater. The people they meet there will impact them for life, especially in their emotional and social development. It’s why camp relationships are so important.
How Camp Relationships Promote Social Learning
After spending the last two years in isolation, kids have been sitting on screens for hours and not spending quality in-person time with their peers. It’s more important than ever to teach campers social skills. Fortunately, overnight summer camps are the perfect place.
Campers are in unique social situations at camp. They live with each other, work in groups, and do all their activities together. It’s an opportunity to bond like no other. Since kids will be put in social situations for the rest of their lives, it’s important to teach them how to have good conversations, make new friends, and be kind to others.
A good place to start is with gratitude. Learning how to say “please” and “thank you” are harder than you think for young kids! Every morning, our counselors lead our campers in Good Morning Gratitudes and do it again before bed during Night Gratitudes.
We encourage kids to sit at different tables for meals and try new activities so they can get to know new people every day. And of course, our counselors make an effort to get to know every child so they have a mentor and friend to guide them.
As a community, we’re meant to build one another up. We give each other lots of compliments to show how kindness is the best social skill one can have. It’s another amazing reason why camp relationships are important.
How Camp Relationships Promote Emotional Learning
Emotions are a gift and a challenge, and managing them is a lifelong journey. However, developing healthy habits about expressing and tending to our emotions while young will greatly help campers throughout their whole lives. And there’s no better place to work out our emotions than in the wonders of nature.
Our summer camp in New Hampshire has the benefit of being close to the great wilds of the state. Outdoor education is a key component of all learning at Camp Cody, but especially for emotional learning. Playing in nature together is great for kids’ mental and physical health. There’s nothing like fresh air to help reduce stress and anxiety.
We do a lot of team building exercises in the woods, encouraging campers to work together. This instills creativity and cooperation, thinking outside of the box to solve various problems or accomplish goals as a team. We also give every camper a chance to shine and have a voice. Conflicts in life are unavoidable, especially among children. But giving them the chance to express their emotions and work through their conflicts together will benefit them in the long run.
Every camper has the capacity to become a leader, and so we give them the opportunity to practice leadership skills. Leadership extends beyond group settings, as it encourages children to take charge of their own lives and emotions as well. As they learn to manage themselves, they’ll gain confidence and independence. And by making new friends, with their peers and their counselors, your camper will have the best support system as they practice emotional learning.
Camp Relationships Are Important
The friends your camper will make at camp will be more than just friends. They’ll be family, mentors, peers, and teammates. They’ll give your child the opportunity and space to grow into the best person they can be, through social and emotional learning.
Give this amazing opportunity to your camper by signing them up today!