As we move cautiously into 2022, a sense of hope and optimism for a more ‘normal’ life seems to be growing. And as we begin to open up our schools, communities, and businesses prior to the pandemic, we must first pay careful attention to our children and how the pandemic has affected their social, physical, and emotional wellbeing.
The natural, healthy growth of our kids involves being with others, exploring their world, creating friendships, taking risks, engaging the world around them, and being active. Unfortunately, the pandemic has stunted that growth for so many of our kids and embedded an unhealthy amount of anxiety and uncertainty in the process. For so many kids, the pandemic has served to further isolate them from friends and peers. For some, school has provided a limited reconnection, but school doesn’t provide for the substantive social connections and bonds like camp has done for millions of kids.
Summer and seasonal camps have always been a powerful place to bring kids together and celebrate the best in life. Camp harnesses the very nature of childhood with its quest for exploration and its propensity for creativity. Camp provides a culture where positive relationships are what matters most, ones that are based on strong values and care for one another. In a world that is struggling for greater diversity, acceptance of all people, and inclusion, there is no more powerful platform than camp to teach that. At camp, kids develop greater confidence, strong relational bonds, and attain a sense of belonging that is so challenging to find right now.
Too many in our world are searching for that belonging, that acceptance, and that chance to flourish. Our kids need to be validated, not by the number of likes on their social, but with a smile and a hug from a real friend that genuinely cares. Right now our kids are drowning in loneliness and fear amidst a world of uncertainty, hatred, and separation, and right now we must look to come together. Our kids deserve that.
The greater pandemic in our country cannot be cured with a vaccine. But it can be made so much better with camp. That is why this Spring and Summer are more important than ever. And this is why we have the opportunity to make it all happen for them.
Many camp programs including Kidventure have already begun registering for both Spring Break Camp and Summer Camp. Kidventure’s Spring Break Camp will take place March 14-18 at two locations in the Houston area. Summer Camp will begin June 6th through August 12. For more information about Kidventure please visit kidventure.com.