There’s a lot more to summer camp than just campfires and canoes. Here are some things you might not know about the camp experience.
The camp experience is life-changing. Campers develop new friendships and make memories that last well beyond the final campfire.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.