(Related: Check out the Summer Camp Directory)
WHY SUMMER CAMP?
Did you know that 25% of a child’s life occurs during the summer? I’m sharing this pearl of wisdom with you to emphasize the importance of summer camp. Whether your child is a toddler, adolescent, tween, or teen it is important to take the time to research and promote healthy and productive summer experiences. As parents, we all look to guide our children on the path to becoming independent, self-supportive, and happy adults. Studies show young people have seven developmental needs:
- Physical Activity
- Competence and Achievement
- Creative Self-Expression
- Positive Social Interactions
- Structure and Clear Limits
- Meaningful Participation
Each of these needs are uniquely molded at camp. I believe that the value of the right summer experience will enhance a child’s development alongside the activities that occur in the home and throughout the school year. Camp is the perfect complement to dinner at the family table, along with strong academic support, great after school programming, giving back to the community at large, and the guidelines set by parents and other role models at home.
Why Is It Important To Send Your Child To Camp?
Youth development experts agree that children need a variety of experiences to help them grow into healthy adolescents and adults. Gaining these experiences in a different setting during the summer months will allow your children to shape their development in the most exceptional way. In order to develop and internalize these positive behaviors, experiences must produce:
· A sense of accomplishment
Do they develop skills? Do they learn to work for what is important? Are they successful at what they do?
· A feeling of connectedness to others
Do they feel like they “fit”? Do they see a role they can play in their group, family, or community? Do they have friends?
· A belief in their ability to make decisions
Do they learn to make good choices? Do they see the results of their decisions?
· A stable identity
Are they learning what their skills are? Are they receiving positive feedback about themselves?
Camp provides a non-threatening environment for kids to be active, to develop competence in life skills, to explore and enhance their own abilities, and to benefit from meaningful participation in a community designed just for them.
Camp is for every child, every budget, every family, everywhere. Invest in your child’s future….