Summer camp is a safe, caring and unique environment prime for active learning on multiple levels: personal, social, physical and emotional. Even kids who struggle to learn in other settings often succeed at camp, including kids with attention deficit disorders and other mental disabilities. With its powerful potential to impact children in a positive way, camp promotes a strong carryover into other areas of life including work, home and school.
Personal: Discovering a New Sense of Self
Amazing things can happen on a deep, personal level. Campers learn to do things on their own, accept responsibility for their own space and depend on one another to accomplish tasks. Separated from their parents and the security of home, campers learn to stand on their own two feet. A single summer can change their entire self-concept.
Reward systems at camp function differently than at school. Where schools reward good grades, camp rewards a broad range of accomplishments. Campers feel valued for contributing to a community of their peers and fulfilled on an extremely personal level. Campers return home with a new sense of self and the confidence to excel in other areas. Life after camp is never the same.
Social: Confidence, Connection and Community
Children often struggle to meet new people in everyday life. Immersed in the camp environment, the same children discover rare opportunities to make friends and connect with other campers. A more supportive community without intimidating school cliques, camp breaks down the barriers to social interaction to promote mutual acceptance. By working together as a team, building social capital and behaving like good citizens, campers learn to become more successful in life.
Camp is prime for building deep and lasting social bonds. The average camp-initiated friendship and resulting network can last a lifetime. Campers also learn valuable lessons about being a contributing member of a community, which continue to serve them far into adulthood. Especially for those with trouble fitting in with peers in other settings, camp helps children build truly invaluable social skills.
Few personality traits develop social skills faster than self-confidence. Rich with new adventures and exciting chances to excel in areas never before ventured, camp celebrates small victories in ways few environments can match. Campers who engage in physical and sporting activities discover a new sense of personal freedom and the confidence to be their true selves. Self-assurance grows and social skills flourish.
Physical: Encouraging Health and Well-Being
More than just personal triumph and social confidence, camp also promotes physical health and well-being. Physical challenges including swimming, horseback riding, rock climbing and hiking help campers build not just strength and confidence but also awareness of their own physical prowess and ability to challenge themselves.
The unique opportunity to move all day, from the moment campers get out of bed, transfers over to other areas of life now and for the long run. Camp is even considered a health benefit and potential antidote to childhood obesity. Sending campers outdoors and in motion remains one of the best ways to encourage physical activity and the resulting impact on overall health and well-being.
Emotional: Independence for the World Ahead
Camp is chockfull of opportunities for children to adapt and grow emotionally. An eye-opening experience outside the normal day-to-day, the setting encourages campers to ask important life questions and create fresh, new ideas. A safe and nurturing environment structured to help campers challenge and test themselves, camp breeds the emotionally strong adults of tomorrow.
By learning to cope with separation without parental guidance, campers discover the exciting world around them — for themselves. Even the most overprotected camper can build a new sense of independence, confidence and responsibility. Beyond the boundaries at camp, campers learn to be well grounded in the real world.
Life Skills: Learning How to Problem-Solve
Negotiation, compromise and co-existence only scratch the surface of the life skills children learn at summer camp. By interacting spontaneously with peers, campers develop socially, grow creatively and learn to problem-solve with a new sense of confidence. Campers also learn the all-important lesson to approach life with a group-centered (rather than self-centered) mindset.
Summer Camp: A Top Learning Environment
Camp is without a doubt a fun experience. However, the real value comes from learning. And few environments make learning as enjoyable as camp. Campers learn about themselves and how to relate to and interact with peers. Campers learn self-reliance but also how to work as part of a team. From sharing cabin clean-up duties to supporting one another on the rope course, camp is all about working together to achieve common goals. While school enhances academic credentials, camp teaches children how to grow up to be successful adults. And it makes all the difference.