Camps provide children with diverse opportunities to develop important life skills that are difficult to achieve in any other environment. Let’s take a closer look and explore four big benefits of summer camp programs.
Summer camp holds a special place in Americana. It represents a time in a child’s life when they get to wholeheartedly experience nature, or one of their favorite interests. For generations, children have spent their summers at day and sleepaway camps, trying new activities such as swimming, hiking, and various sports. Many former campers will warmly remember summers spent gazing at the stars, playing a new sport, coding a computer app, cooking delicious foods, building a robot, or many other fun and special activities. These nostalgic memories are priceless, but they only scratch the surface of the real benefits of summer camp.
1. Score a Win in the Fight Against Summer “Brain Drain”
Summer camps can prevent the often-lamented “brain drain” that sometimes happens to kids during summer. Kids often have to play catch up when they get back to school from summer break. A school’s required rehash period ultimately slows down the education process for all students involved after they get back from summer break. Camps, activities, and summer learning programs can keep your child’s mind active and focused throughout summer on subjects they love or want to improve. Brains are a lot like muscles when it comes to the acquisition of knowledge and skills — they need exercise. Summer camp helps your kids keep their brain’s “muscles” active all throughout summer so they can start school on a strong note, and stay ahead of their brain-drained classmates, regardless of the interest they choose for camp.
2. Make Summer Time Wise Time…Fun Too!
When you become a parent, you truly understand the value of time. Your time, your child’s time, others’ time, and time-sensitive opportunities. Summertime offers a unique window of opportunity for your child to try new experiences, step outside of their normal routine and environment, and grow. It only lasts a few short months, however, so planning how to fill your child’s time in the summer is crucial. And with programs only lasting a limited amount of time — from mere hours to a few short weeks — kids will learn the importance of enjoying the time they have and getting the most out of their opportunities.
It’s also true that although parents cherish the moments they have with their kids, they sometimes need to work and run errands. This can be very challenging in the summer months when kids are out of school, especially with younger children and those who need more active care-giving. Summer camp programs can give your child something fun and engaging to do with their time, so you can be more productive with yours.
3. Strengthen Soft & Social Skills
In a world where technology and busy schedules have a tendency to isolate children from their peers, summer camps offer a unique opportunity for your kids to get out and meet new people, develop social skills, and build friendships. Kids learn valuable soft skills like teamwork, communication, and empathy at camp in addition to more robust skill building. Programs will challenge children to work together, achieve goals, and solve problems. Furthermore, camp allows your children to expand their social circle with people from outside their school. They might even get to socialize with kids from different cities, states, backgrounds, cultures, and countries. This benefit of summer camp often applies to parents, too! You just might meet your new “Mom BFF” at summer camp drop-off.
4. Help Children Learn About Themselves & Their Interests
Childhood is a time for discovering who you are and who you want to become in the future. It is a time for finding your strengths, overcoming challenges, and widening your vision of yourself and the world around. Camps and summer programs help to nurture this environment by providing access to a myriad of topics, opportunities and experiences. Kids get to learn about new subjects, interact with new environments, and engage in activities that might not have been available to them otherwise. Parents can even send their kids to circus, farming, firefighting, ukulele, and yoga camps, just to name a few. (It’s true! Those are all search links that will take you to actual programs listed on Blueprint4SummerSTL this year.)
The benefits of summer camp programs help your children truly grow in ways you never thought possible. Take a look through the 2019 summer camp programs in our search app for some inspiration. If cost is a concern, there are hundreds of free summer camps, many more affordable programs, plus thousands of programs that accept scholarships. Who knows, maybe they can teach you a thing or two when they get back.