Director Jud's Blog

Top 10 Reasons to Choose a Teen Summer Camp for your Teens this Summer

Posted by Jud Millar on Thu, Apr 11, 2013

Every year summer children flock to overnight summer camps for the experiences of a lifetime. As your child gets older her or she may outgrow or age out of their camp. When that happens, it might be time to consider a Teen Summer Camp. Attending a teen summer camp can have profound positive effects on your teen now and later in life. In this article we will take a look at the benefits of choosing a teen summer camp.

What is a Teen Summer Camp?

A teen summer camp is a camp that focuses solely on teens and that means that there areCampers posing with SMA molded with clay. not young kids at camp.  That’s helpful when you are trying to get your teen excited about a new camp because most teenagers do not want to hang out or do camp activities with 8 year olds.  

1) Teen focused activities and events

Directors at teen summer camps are able to focus all of their programming specifically for teenagers. From the types of adventure activities, sports activities or art projects to the evening activities that are offered, it really makes a difference if the activities are teen focused. Teens are physically able to do more and emotionally more mature. Most teens would also prefer to do camp activities and hang out with kids their own age.

2) Easy to be a "new camper" at a Teen Summer Camp because campers have not been there "forever"

At many traditional summer camps the age range of campers is somewhere around 6 to 16.  This means that by the time campers and their friends reach their teenage years many of them have already been at camp for 6 to 8 years. If you send your teenager to this kind of camp as a first-time camper it can be really challenging for them to break into the social scene and make friends as many campers have already been together for so many years.  This is not the case at teen summer camps where there are typically many campers there who will be attending for the first time as a 13, 14, 15 or 16 year old.

3) Teens learn independence and responsibility

Camp is a great way for kids to learn how to do things on their own. Because you’re not there to remind your son to make his bed, brush his teeth, or eat healthy foods, he has to remind himself. Sometimes hearing these daily reminders from another adult (a counselor or director) allows the message to sink in and teens return home with a shifted attitude towards performing these tasks independently. Remarkably, even the most dependant teen can learn to rely on themselves when they spend time away from mom and dad. And one of the benefits of exposing your teen to an overnight camp experience is that when he returns home, you may notice that he tackles some of his daily chores and responsibilities without you constantly having to remind him. 

4) They learn how to make choices and the art of decision making

Summer camp will help your teen learn how to make choices. What camp activity should I sign up for?  What should I eat for lunch? Should I participate in swimming or volleyball? Should I pick the top or lower bunk? Because camp counselors typically don’t hover the way that parents are known to do, your child will be responsible for making many decisions on his own. And that’s good practice for the years ahead, which offer responsible decision making opportunities every day.

5) They learn to make new friends

Even if your child has been to overnight camp before, it can be difficult for teens to go away to overnight camp when they don't know anyone else there. But a good program will make it easy for kids to find friends fast. A camp friendship may last a lifetime, or only a summer, but either way camp offers teens the opportunity to branch out from their regular circle of friends and learn to connect with other people in positive ways.

6) They learn to work together

A good teen summer camp program offers much more than activities and arts and crafts. A good program also offers a community for your teen to join. This community is made up of fellow campers, camp counselors, instructors, and the camp director. While away at a resident camp, your teen will learn to work with other campers and get along with kids from a variety of backgrounds. For example, campers may learn to work together to keep their cabin clean, work together on a community service project, or work to help one another learn a new skill like paddling a canoe or belaying a rock climber.

7) They learn new skills

One of the obvious benefits of a teen summer camp is all the new skills your kid will learn. It doesn’t matter if your teen attends a sports camp, an adventure camp, or a program that offers a little bit of everything, a teen summer camp will teach him new skills. The experience may also help him find a hobby or a life passion that he otherwise may never have known about.

8) They learn to slow down and "unplug" 

When kids take a break from t.v., cell phones, and the internet, they rediscover their creative powers and engage the real world— real people, real activities, and real emotions. They realize there’s always plenty to do. Many teen summer camps do not allow electronic devices, cell phones, iPods, or other plugged-in distractions. It may sound harsh to you and your teen, but the advantage is that without electronic toys your teen will learn to slow down and appreciate other worthy experiences. Living life in the slow lane for a little while gives your child the opportunity to find hobbies, rediscover the wonder of reading, or appreciate the beauty of all things around him. The other part of that is that the transition to being "unplugged" is not as hard as you would think because every one at camp is unplugged, not just your teenager. 

9) They learn to appreciate the small things

A week or two away from home and all its comforts may help your teen appreciate all that home offers – a warm bed, a refrigerator full of snacks, a bathroom of one’s own, television, etc. A few weeks away at a teen summer camp may convince your teen that life at home isn't all that bad. It's also possible that teen summer camp can help your teen appreciate that all he really needs to be happy is a warm place to sleep, healthy food, the company of a few good friends, and a caring adult to help guide him through life.

10) They learn to appreciate YOU!

It’s easy for kids to take parents for granted, and teens are especially talented at assuming mom and dad exist only for their convenience. But a teen that spends two weeks or four weeks away at teen summer camp may learn to appreciate all his parents do for him. The little extras such as making his favorite dishes for dinner or driving him to and from soccer practice may suddenly be appreciated.

Teen Summer Camps

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Topics: Summer camp, Teen summer camp, teenage summer camp, choosing a teen summer camp

About Director Jud's Blog

This blog will give you the "411" about everything that is Stone Mountain Adventures Teen Summer Camp!  Everything from "Summer Updates" to useful family and camp resources.  Check it out! 

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