When school gets out for the year, parents everywhere often wonder just what they’re going to do with their kids for the summer.
One of the easiest and best ways to keep kids engaged and active is by sending them to a summer camp. Each year, more than 11 million children in the United States attend a summer camp. Nowadays there are all sorts of summer camps available whether your child is interested in athletics, art or music. Not only will summer camps keep kids engaged, chances are good they’ll learn a thing or two. The American Camp Association (ACA) finds that 63% of children who learn new activities as a summer camp will keep an interest in those activities at the end of camp.
The benefits of sending your youngster to a summer camp or summer programs include:
- Fostering teamwork: Summer programs are great for keeping kids engaged in programs that promote teamwork, whether a child is attending a sports camp or an art camp. Summer camps teach kids skills that are important to know for later in life. One of the most important of these lessons is teamwork. By fostering and encouraging teamwork, kids will learn the importance of working together to accomplish a goal. This will also help them learn how to foster relationships with kids from different backgrounds as they work together on completing a task.
- Putting down the electronics: Every parent’s worst fear about kids being off for the summer is that they’re going to sit in front of the TV all day or be glued to their phones. It’s true that with social media and cell phones, kids can have short attention spans and surveys have shown that kids spend as much as seven hours daily in front of a screen.
Fortunately, summer camps can show them that there’s more to life than staring at a screen. Summer camps often have plans mapped out to a tee for the entirety of camp, so kids will have plenty of activities to distract them from being glued to their screens. It might just be that your child, freed from electronics, finds a new passion for something at a camp. Maybe he or she attends a theater camp and discovers they really like acting. More than two million kids attend U.S. private schools and camps are a welcome relief from the rigors of school.
- Making friends: One of the best things about summer camps is the chance for kids to meet new people and make new friends. As previously mentioned, your child will be together with other children from a variety of backgrounds and with a variety of experiences. This gives them a chance to bond and they’ll bond even more over their shared camp experiences. It might just happen where your child makes some new friends after some time away at camp.
- Better self-esteem: Summer programs are fun, but they also encourage achievement. Depending on what type of camp a child attends, there will be plenty of opportunities for achievement. Why is that important? It helps build a child’s self-esteem. Building self-esteem from a young age is important for later in life and how a person views themselves. Summer camps give children chances to learn self-esteem through participation and results.
- Encouraging personal growth: For youngsters, especially those of preschool age, participating in summer programs can understandably be a little uncomfortable. It can be scary at first, but getting out of that comfort zone encourages kids to try new activities and explore new things. Summer programs can be very important for fostering a child’s personal growth and for them to develop new skills. Going through a camp will give them a stronger sense of identity as well as offering them a tremendous sense of accomplishment.
Summer programs and summer camps are a great way for kids to experience new things, make new friends, learn important skills and stay engaged while taking a break from everyday life and social media. Whether they know it or not, by participating in a summer athletic camp or an arts camp and putting their phones down, kids may just have the time of their lives and make some memories that they’ll treasure forever.