Parents want the best opportunities for their children. They wish them to have whatever it takes to be successful and happy- good health, thinking and problem-solving skills, a good self-concept, and the ability to get along with others. Kids today need great resiliency skills such as pro-social behaviors, good self-esteem, and self-resilience. Summer camps provide much more than just fun for kids. They can improve your child’s mental health.
However, today many factors have come together to push children indoors doing crafts and arts, puzzles, and video games instead of enjoying the outside. This may be due to more people moving to cities and high-density complexes, with less accessible open space, additional weights on children’s time- such as more in-depth activities or more homework, our reservations of letting kids play alone outside or a busy lifestyle, just wanting to be able to have a few minutes for yourself not wanting to run after your little one.
A study published in JSTOR suggested that children’s participation with nature may set them a route toward adult environmentalism. The study shows that there may be a strong link between children’s experiences in outdoor activities, and their later life perspectives and behaviors. With that in mind, it is in our as adults, parents, and teachers to familiarize children with healthy behaviors to support a love for the outdoors and movement.
Independence and Resilience
It is logical that children require quite a bit of help with a lot of things when they are young and just learning about the adult world. One common difficulty that parents face is teaching their children to succeed alone. A child who simply gives up when things become too difficult is prone to a series of challenges throughout their lives, as there are huge challenges before them.
Summer camp programs are meant to help children explore challenges and independence in a way that is both exciting and interesting. Summer camps help enjoy all sorts of opportunities – from going on a hike, building a fire, building a tent, and getting to know new individuals, which allows them to step outside the comfort zone.
Schools can be varied and unique. But even though the DMV provides parents with choices in charter schools and faith-based schools with amazing areas of study and educational opportunities, the level of diversity isn’t always very high.
In change, the summer camp experience disrupts all boundaries, attracting various groups of children from different social, economic, and cultural backgrounds- while those with special needs are starting to be recognized as valuable adherents of camps.
According to the American Camp Association, children benefit a lot from summer camps, regardless if they’re summer camps in the heart of Indiana or Summer camps in Brooklyn, NY, as they can learn to make social adjustments to different and new people. Moreover, they agree that camps are culturally capable of being prepared for diversity among campers, helping children learn how to accept each other regardless of location, race creed, sexual experience, and disability.
One interesting comparison to understanding how problem-solving differs between summer camps and schools is by comparing camp counselors to baseball pitchers. While the baseball pitcher’s goal is to hit the ball and score as many bases as possible, summer camps complete the same pitch but with a whole different end goal.
The summer counselor continuously pitches softballs to campers, giving them new opportunities to hit the ball at their own aptitudes, learning them to rely on their problem-solving skills whenever necessary. In this view, summer camps do not exist just for kids to reach mastery over skills to accomplish educational requirements. Instead, they offer a more in-depth informal environment and strive to offer new opportunities for kids to fail, practice, have fun and learn how to problem-solve throughout their life.
Belonging to a Community
Another comparison between summer camps and schools in short, yet exhilarating moment in a week or extended summer camp where everyone belongs to a community. That said, while schools emphasize individual academic development and test scores, summer camps excel at offering fun, rich, and intriguing moments that stimulate real social scenarios.
It goes without saying that children experience great freedom of expression when they play outdoors. For instance, research shows that children use more complex language outdoors, then they do indoors.
Summer camps also encourage a series of social benefits – they’re less inhibited while outdoor and more. They have more flexible play options, engage in less onlooker and unoccupied behaviors, and display fewer problem behaviors than children on more traditional, sterile.
With so many benefits, the outdoors provides us- we need to start thinking about how we shape our lives. Parents today who have never sent their children out there, should at least start implementing simple things like a regular stroll in the nearby park or having breakfast outdoors.
Healthy body-mind interaction
There is a strong connection between mind and body. What goes in the mind usually manifests in the body and the other way around. Summer camps can assist in a healthy mind and body, battling things like myopia, asthma, obesity, and feelings of accomplishment.
With increasingly more children suffering from obesity, it’s imperative that children engage in at least one hour of physical activity per day. And, summer camps seem to be the perfect fit.
Energetic, large motor physical activity burns calories at any given time and is usually more likely to be allowed in summer camps than indoors.
Finally, many adults today would say that their fondest memories were those vivid, summer camp experiences as they were growing up. Unfortunately, many children today miss out on some of the plainness of life before the smartphone era. But while times have certainly changed, nothing compares with preserving those unplugged and vivid childhood memories. Apart from getting acquainted with diversity, learning independence and resilience, and gaining problem-solving skills, in summer camps, your child will get plenty of physical activity and memories that will last a lifetime.
Featured Photo by Jack Cohen on Unsplash