Too many parents are afraid of sending their kids to summer camp. There are so many reasons they come up with, such as fear of their kids not fitting in, counselor issues, or their children getting hurt. In reality we are only hurting our kids by pulling them back. Check out the reasons your kids need camp, from the experts, including me, a veteran of working at camps with nine years of experience.
Experts agree that autonomy is good for a child, and it can be hard for a child to establish that independence when it seems like mom and dad are always near by. You do wan them to feel safe and comfortable too though. Camp gives kids a chance to be independent in a safe environment.
2. Gets them Moving
Child obesity is running rampant in this country, and camp is a great way to keep kids active with making them feel like they are being forced to workout. Instead they will just keep kids active while having fun. Even if you child opts for activities that are more stationary like arts and crafts or cooking they will be more active simply by the extra walking. Most camps are large and sprawled out, so walking from their cabin to breakfast could be as much as a 1/2 mile walk. Many children will choose a variety of activities though, such as archery, swimming, or canoeing.
3. Learning to be a Community
Many kids don’t know about being in a community and how to be interdependent within that community. Going to camp gives kids the chance to learn how to share space in a cabin, share chores, and manage their own schedules.
4. You Need a Vacation
I know that all parents love their children dearly, but a week of alone time can do wonders for your marriage, or if you are single, for you. You are a parent 52 weeks a year, but if you can take one week to hand the reins over you will feel so rejuvenated you will be raring to go!
You know all the things you do for your child? Such as clearing the table, folding laundry, field trips? You will likely find your child is much more grateful for the many things you do for them after having a week of having to take care of more of their responsibilities themselves. They won’t know they are going to get this lesson, but trust me, they will.
And lastly, it’s fun! Many kids don’t realize how much fun they are going to have at camp. Their nerves my be going but they are going to love hanging out with their cool counselors, drinking bug juice, and playing games like sock ball. Be aware of a child who might be an exception, such as a child who suffers from severe separation anxiety.