The Unique Value of Camp Friendships
Camp friendships are one of the most magical parts of summer camp. A child spends every waking moment with their friends, for weeks at a time, sharing important experiences and making memories that would be impossible to create anywhere else.
Despite blossoming in the span of only a few days or weeks, summer friendships often last a lifetime. Lots of summer camp friendships last into adulthood, and can pick back up again despite years of being apart. So what is it that makes camp friendships so special?
Camp Teaches Kids How to Foster Relationships
Summer camp is a much different experience than school. If your child struggles with making friends at school, that doesn’t mean that they will have trouble at camp. At summer camp, almost every activity is a group activity. This means your child will have constant opportunities to interact with new people who share similar interests.
The first friendship that your child may make at summer camp is often with a camp counselor. Camp counselors are there to support kids and to introduce them to each other. During the camp experience, they are constantly on the lookout for kids who will get along with each other, and look for opportunities for them to spend time together.
Camp Is a Lesson in Acceptance
At summer camp, your child will be with friends from tons of different backgrounds. Camp brings together kids from all over the world – kids who may not have a lot in common – and creates bonds through new shared experiences.
Summer camp teaches kids that they can create a community of friends that are completely different and yet still compatible.
Teamwork and Cooperation
When you are with the same group of kids for weeks on end, things don’t always go smoothly. But a day can feel like a week and tensions that arise often dissipate just as quickly as they arose. Camp teaches that you don’t have to be best friends with everyone, but there are lots of campers to be friends with.
At camp, you learn to navigate experiences with others as a team and how to handle relationships. The element of teamwork—the sense of being part of a group—will help your child push boundaries and take risks that they might not take alone.
For example, is your child scared of heights? Maybe with the help of their camp best friends, they’ll find the confidence to take on the ropes course and conquer their fear. Did they insist they wouldn’t try the zip line? Don’t be surprised if they come home sharing that they rode it multiple times with the encouragement of their bunk mates.
Camp Friendships Are Special Bonds
Camp friendships are unlike any other—you try new things together, gain new skills, compete against each other, and cheer each other on. At camp, you create, learn, and grow together in an environment that’s completely unique.
Friendships that develop in such a unique environment are stronger and last longer than many friendships that form under the stressful environment of school. At camp, kids don’t have to worry about outside influences like the Internet or parental pressures, and can create new friendships organically.
They Become Like a Second Family
Many kids look forward to returning to camp year after year just to get back in touch with their summer friends. Returning to camp each year is like coming home to a second family. Many campers stay in touch with their camp friends throughout the year, and visit each other at home during the school year. It is often said campers put up with 10 to fully enjoy 2; they put up with 10 months with friends at home to spend 2 blissful months with their camp besties.
If your child is worried about making friends at camp, let them know that one of the biggest reasons people go to camp is the friendships that blossom under these unique circumstances. Camp friendships are special, and the bonds that last a lifetime are one of the most extraordinary aspects of camp.