by Sandra Gordon
With summer calendars quickly filling up, it can be hard to try and squeeze in one more thing. But if you have never sent your kids to a summer camp, here are seven reasons why you should consider it!
With so many options, it’s easy to find a great fit for your child.
From sports camps and art camps to STEM-based camps and more traditional overnight options, summer camps are designed to serve a variety of ages and interests. The length of camp can range from a few mornings for younger kiddos to weeklong sleep-away camps for older kids. Local churches, school districts, and other organizations like the YMCA, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Camp Fire, and 4-H offer a wide range of camps. With a little bit of research, you can easily find a camp well-suited for your child.
Camps provide kids with experiences they might not have access to in “everyday” life.
Horseback riding. Paddling a canoe across the lake. Wilderness survival. Conquering a ropes course. Sleeping under the stars. Adventures are endless at camp, and your child will have an opportunity to try something brand new. For the youngest campers, trying a new craft activity or learning a new camp song can be so much fun!
Camps are a safe place to practice social skills.
It might be awkward or uncomfortable for your child during those first few hours of camp when they don’t know a single soul. After all, stepping into a new social environment can be challenging. But the ability to comfortably communicate with new people is a life skill that all kids need, and a camp is a great place to practice! Camps also provide kids an opportunity to form friendships with a whole new group of peers they might never have met otherwise.
Camps give kids a much-needed technology break.
No matter how old your child is, they could probably benefit from a screen hiatus, especially during the summer months. Spending time outdoors, learning a new skill, having fun, and forming new friendships is good for the body and soul!
Sending kids to camp is beneficial for you, too.
Driving away from your child(ren) on the first day might be a little gut-wrenching. But entrusting your kids to someone else for a while can be truly beneficial. Maybe it will free up time for some overdue self-care, or give you and your partner time to reconnect. Maybe it will provide an opportunity to hit the reset button with your tween or teen. After all, absence makes the heart grow fonder! Parenting is tough work, so don’t feel guilty if you enjoy this time to yourself. Chances are, your kids are having a blast without you!
Your child’s experience as a camper could help land a summer job in the future.
Camps are staffed by amazing counselors who provide kids with all kinds of good, clean fun. Most of these counselors were campers once, too. Now they get to help a new set of youngsters make unforgettable summer memories, all while sharpening their own teamwork and leadership skills. Your child might have that same opportunity one day. What great way to spend a summer!
Camp is just plain fun.
So many adults have fond memories from their days spent at camp, and kids who have been to camp often say it’s a favorite part of their summer. Odds are, your kids are going to love it! And for that reason alone, it’s worth sending them to camp.
Mary Ann Blair is a mom of two boisterous boys. Besides chronicling her adventures in motherhood at maryannblair.com, she loves the outdoors, reading, and all things crafty.