There’s a lot more to camp than just campfires and canoes. Here are some things you might not know about the camp experience.
1. Camp is worth its weight in gold, and then some! The camp experience is life-changing. Campers develop new friendships and make memories that last well beyond the final campfire.
2. Green is “zen.” Research shows that first-hand experience with nature, like those at camp, reduce stress in children and help them better handle stress in the future. In addition to teaching children how to be good stewards of the environment, camps are teaching children how to enjoy the world around them.
3. Mommies and Daddies do it too. Camp is not just for kids. Look for family camps that the entire family can enjoy together. Adults benefit from the same sense of community, authentic relationships, and self-discovery that children do.
4. The importance of “unplugging.”
Camp offers an opportunity for youth to unplug from their phones. Once unplugged, turn to face-to-face interaction and practice the art of conversation which can improve social skills and build thoughtful relationships.
5. Advantages of girl-only and boy-only camps.
Girls and boys experience a sense of freedom in single sex environments. In particular, girls move out of gender stereotypes and try new things without trying to impress or compete with the opposite sex.
6. Try this on for size!
Camp is a great place to try new activities and hobbies. According to ACA research, 74 percent of campers reported that they tried new activities at camp that they were afraid to do at first. And, those activities often leave lasting impressions. In the same survey, 63 percent of parents reported that their child continued new activities from camp after returning home.
7. Manners matter, and often linger. The camp experience teaches more than just archery or lanyard making. The entire experience is made of teachable moments, perhaps one of the biggest is how to live with a group of people. Campers learn to pick up after themselves, respect each other’s property, and to say “Please” and “Thank You.”
8. Camp gets those neurons pumping! Research shows that participation in intentional programs, like camp, during summer months helps stem summer learning loss. In addition, camp provides ample opportunity for developmental growth, which is a precursor to academic achievement. And, because of the “hands-on” nature of camp, often children who struggle in traditional education settings do well at camp.
9. Camp builds leaders for the 21st century and beyond! Independence, resiliency, teamwork, problem-solving skills, and the ability to relate to other people — these are the skills that tomorrow’s leaders will need, and the skills camp is adept at building.