5 Ways Summer Camp Makes a Difference — and What to Look for in a Camp
1. Kids gain independence
Summer Camps create a “third space” for kids to learn valuable life skills in different ways than they do at home or school. Going to camp offers kids needed time away from family and regular friend groups. These experiences give them the space to gain independence.
Qualities to seek in a summer camp include high expectations and opportunities for campers to be responsible and accountable for individual and group tasks. These opportunities can be as simple as pitching in on cleaning up after arts and crafts or as involved as leading the planning of the camp-wide talent show. A quality camp experience is one in which kids gain the confidence that they can take care of themselves and also contribute to something bigger.
2. Kids develop essential relationship skills
A great camp experience involves making new friends, offering kids opportunities to practice the skills needed to build and maintain relationships. For most campers, this social function of camp is central to their experiences, unlike school where academic outcomes drive most of their daily activities. Adults who went to camp often report that camp was critical to developing their ability to be open with others and create friendships over a short period.
Great camps have well-trained, caring adults able to guide kids through conflict, providing opportunities to practice communication, empathy and compassion – key components of maintaining positive relationships.