There are few experiences that kids and teens can have in their formative years that are more beneficial than attending a quality summer camp.Camps give you a taste of freedom and the responsibility that comes with that. Summer camp also helps kids develop new skills, hone in on what kinds of activities they truly enjoy, learn how to build relationships with others, and keep them safe from unsupervised temptations.
Why summer camp is so important
I met my best friend at summer camp. Of course, I didn’t know he would become my best friend at the time. We bonded over our shared love of basketball, and though our competitive natures threatened the friendship in its nascent stage, ultimately we found that common bond to be helpful. For many kids, camp is all about building relationships and this is such an important benefit of it. Camp teaches you how to interact with others when you have some independence - a skill that kids will use over and over as they grow up.
“Camp is the best emotional preparation for a successful college experience, because you practice being on your own, keeping track of your clothes; you practice living in a community and getting along with roommates you don’t love — all of the skills you need for true independence,” notes The Washington Post.
Beyond the social benefits, camp is also great for letting kids figure out what they are good at and what they truly love to do. It was at camp that I discovered my love (and aptitude) for boating/sailing.
Camps give kids “A powerful identity that makes the child feel confident in front of others,” says Psychology Today. “Your child may not be the best on the ropes course, the fastest swimmer, or the next teen idol when he sings, but chances are that a good camp counselor is going to help your child find something to be proud of that he can do well.”
When it comes to helping a child find their true identity, there are few better places than a quality summer camp.
How to make sure you find the right one
When choosing a summer camp that’s the perfect fit for you or your child, there are four major factors you need to consider: distance, stay type, curriculum, and cost.
Whether you or your child goes far away for a teen summer camp, stays close by, opts for a sleepover (24/7) camp, or just goes for a day camp largely depends on age and experience with independence. If you are a parent, always talk to your child and see how they feel. Never pressure your child to go to a sleepover camp far away if they feel uncomfortable, but you can suggest that they face their fears and try something new. There are many fantastic Summer Camps for Teens that can really have a positive impact on your childs life.
The type of summer camp can vary from a general interest camp to speciality camps that focus on one activity - like a camp that’s all about boating or dance or any number of things. Kids shouldn’t go to speciality camps in the hopes that they will learn to love it. General interest camps can help kids find out for themselves what truly interests them.
Whatever you choose, remember that “the bottom line is comfort for you and comfort for your child. You want your children to have a camp experience that gives memories that last a lifetime,” as SummerCamps.com puts it.
Nothing can ruin a child’s entire summer like a bad camp experience.
There are so many benefits to attending summer camp. I feel like I am a better person for having done so. I not only figured out a skill/activity that I truly love, but I met friends that have lasted a lifetime. Don’t pass up the opportunity to go to or to send your child to a quality camp.