March 18, 2015 by Polarn O. Pyret
We love camp! We love camp for all the same reasons you loved camp as a kid—adventure in the great outdoors, new friends who you wrote letters to all year long and life-long memories that you still cherish.
Today, camp is even more important since kids don’t have enough daily opportunities to play, explore and take risks. Summer camp, whether it’s sleep-away camp or day camp, provides children with a chance to explore the world in a controlled and nurturing setting. Kids can develop independence and experience things that they may not be able to at home.
We talked to our staff and reflected on our own camp experiences. Together we came up with our Top 5 Reasons Summer Camp Rocks!
1. Kids develop a relationship with nature. This doesn’t mean hugging trees and picking flowers, but really understanding our relationship with nature–maneuvering a canoe down a stream, making your way down a steep hill, climbing a tree to tie a rope or realizing too long in the sun will result in a sunburn. You won’t find any “nature deficit disorder” at summer camp.
2. Gain confidence. Everything about camp helps kids build self-confidence. It’s a combination of being away from parents, taking some risks and being around new people. Camp provides a safe environment for children to step outside their comfort zone and do something completely new like ride a horse, zip line through the trees, carve a bowl from wood or shoot a bow and arrow.
3. Make new friends from everywhere. One of the great things about camp is kids are thrown together with other kids from all over the area, state or even country. Free from the social pressures at school, camp encourages kids to relax and make friends easily.
4. Kids get to be kids. Being active is so important and camp provides the perfect place for kids to run, jump, climb, swim, dance, sing and explore. And that’s just before lunch! Free from the overly-structured, overly-scheduled routines of home and school, life at camp gives children free time to just play.
5. Learn to work together in a community. Camp isn’t always happy dancing all day long. When you put kids from all over into a close-knit community for an extended time, there will always be some issues to resolve. Kids learn how to cooperate, communicate, resolve disputes and adjust.
We would love to hear some of the reasons you loved camp as a kid.