Whether or not you went to summer camp as a child, you probably know that spending time outdoors and engaging in new activities can be a fun, thrilling adventure. Summer camp can also give your child important developmental advantages.
Camp Teaches Kids to be Brave
Hanging with new kids and adults takes a lot of courage, especially if the child leaves Mom and Dad for an overnight camp. Kids spend their days rock climbing, sailing, learning new dances, and making unique crafts. Strapping into a zip-line harness and pushing off a platform could be the scariest thing a child has ever done. Sharing these experiences with others in a nurturing environment builds confidence. Seeing others with the same fears and working to conquer them together, can build a can-do resiliency that will help children face challenges in the future.
Camp Teaches Kids to be Kind
For many, summer camp will be the first time a child is away from their hometown. Even well traveled youngsters are unlikely to have lived with someone they don’t know.
Campers may need to negotiate bunk space with a child from a different state or meet someone with difference religious customs. Cooking a meal together or deciding which direction to travel while hiking through an unfamiliar forest will help children develop cooperation skills as they learn to settle disagreements through communication. While making new friends, campers come to appreciate the uniqueness in everyone.
Camp Teaches Kids to be Independent
Many kids do chores, but how many do them because they understand the value of contributing to a community? Summer campers are responsible for clearing their own dishes and remembering to shut the door to keep bugs out. They are encouraged to be responsible for themselves and to make decisions that benefit all. While children’s brains are always maturing, the development of the prefrontal cortex – the decision making part of the brain – begins during adolescence. The fresh outdoor air and sunshine-rich environment of camp is a great place for this growth.
Camp Teaches Kids to be Themselves
In a positive, supportive environment, camp staffers ask kids to share their ideas and challenge them to contribute to activities in their own unique ways. Silently traversing dunes, with only the sounds of nature and your thoughts, can be insightful for a growing child. Creating an original piece of art or sharing stories around a campfire offers children acceptance and gives them confidence to be who they are.
Summer camp at Camp White Pine will give your child new adventures in imaginative settings, while they develop and grow in important ways for their future.