Jun 08, 2020
After weeks of being confined to homes and away from friends and even extended family, your child is probably far more restless than usual. And with the push to return to work, you may be looking for options to keep your child occupied while still keeping them safe.
While sleepover camps are still unavailable in many states, day camp offerings are a great alternative. But do your research. Find camps that put the emphasis on fun but also on maintaining a safe, structured environment that keeps your child healthy.
The right day camp can spark a newfound passion in your child and provide the stimulation they’ve been craving. They’ll meet new friends and reconnect with old ones. Better yet, summer camps bring the fun back into your child’s life after this long period of isolation. Here are a few other top reasons to consider sending your child to camp this summer.
Summer camps provide the opportunity for your child to be exposed to a diversity of people and ideas. They meet children who they might not have the chance to meet otherwise. They may even find “their people”. And with these new acquaintances and friends comes exposure to different ways of doing things and seeing things. Seeing the world through a different lens can help your child cement their ideas about the world. And widening your child’s circle can also help your child build useful collaboration skills they can use throughout their lives in everything from group work to relationships.
Along with exposure to new people and ideas, summer camp can hone your child’s leadership skills.
A summer camp focusing on movie production, for example, can allow your child to exercise their innate leadership skills, whether that is in set design, sound, editing, acting or directing. But in any summer camp, they’ll also pick up some of the essential skills required of leaders such as empathy, integrity and perseverance.
It’s an interesting phenomenon that independence breeds self-confidence but also that self-confidence encourages independence. The trick for parents is to provide opportunities to promote independence and build-self-confidence in their children while still keeping them safe. Summer camps offer this opportunity. Through camp activities, they’ll have the chance to make their own decisions, make choices and create new relationships. They’ll also build confidence in their ability to make decisions, and this confidence will carry forward into other aspects of their lives. This is the kind of confidence and independence that will encourage your child to make better, independent decisions later in life and help keep them from simply following the crowd.
After a spring spent in isolation, summer camps allow your child to get out and do something. The benefits of that cannot be overestimated. Experts suggest that the pandemic and resulting isolation have been particularly hard on our children. Young children in particular, are at greater risk for stress and anxiety. But even older children are harmed by the long-term lack of interaction with extended family and peer groups.
There is no doubt that a bit of boredom can be a good thing for a child. It forces them to create their own fun and to problem solve. However, there is a limit to these benefits as well. Studies have also demonstrated that extreme boredom, or a lack of stimulation, can lead to negative behaviors such as tuning out or acting out. Summer camps can solve that with both a regular schedule and an emphasis on participation.
Summer camps can help expose your child to an entirely new area of interest and possibly a brand-new passion. Passion can drive kids to great heights in a specific area, but it is easily transferable to other subjects and interests. Briefly put, children with well-honed passions will become more engaged in learning of all kinds.
A summer camp can also allow your child to test drive a new interest or hobby. This can help her identify or eliminate interests and be invaluable later when it comes to choosing a college major or a career.
These benefits are also equally true when it comes to enrolling your child in a summer camp that fulfills an existing passion.
Many children find lifelong friends at summer camp, particularly when they attend a themed camp with children of like-minded interests. But even when they don’t, summer camp provides your child with the opportunity to take social risks that they might be unwilling to do in the more permanent environment like school or their home community. They will also learn how to meet and interact with new people, an invaluable networking skill they will use throughout their lives.
If you’re like many of the parents who suddenly found themselves homeschooling their children this spring, you’re probably still reeling from the challenge. While some parents relished the opportunity, most of us struggled along doing the best we could with a less than ideal situation. Summer camps present an opportunity for your child to further his education and acquire more knowledge and new skills. For example, drama, theater, and production summer camps can teach your child valuable communication and language skills. Other camps may focus on STEM-related subjects or athletics. Regardless of the type of camp, your child will learn. And summer camps will also help hone your child’s mastery of soft skills such as negotiation, organization and reliability.
In addition to acquiring new friends and a new skill set, summer camps provide your child with great memories. Many of us have fond memories of our time at summer camp: the counsellors, our fellow campers, the first time we tried something new. These memories are a lifelong gift to your child.