Did you know that nearly 14 million children and adults attend summer camp every year? The choices are mind-boggling. There are more than 8,400 overnight camps and 5,600 day camps registered with the American Camp Association. That means that you are pretty much guaranteed to find the right camp for your child.
Many parents choose learning-based camps for their children, like computer camp, math camp, robot camp, writing camp and whatever else they’re offering at the local university. And those are all great, even if they are an extension of school work.
But there’s a reason kids get the whole summer off from school to recharge. School is hard on growing children emotionally and intellectually. Every day at school is full of teacher-planned lessons and structured time. Kids need a break from regimen and routine every once in a while.
But just because they’re not in a classroom or taking notes, it doesn’t mean they’re not learning. Summer camp offers the chance for kids to explore and learn in a different way. They don’t give tests on independence, initiative or persistence in school. Summer camps give kids the opportunity to practice these soft skills.
There are plenty of possibilities. There are day camps, one-week camps or multiple-week camp options. You can choose one that specializes in a sport, performing arts, or other interests. Select a coed or single-sex camp. There are multi-age camps and family camps.
Going to camp may be the first time a child is away from family and school friends. Think about how your child handles problems big and small. How much guidance does your child want or need?
At camp, kids have to figure out how to work collaboratively. They develop a sense of self-reliance. They step outside of their comfort zones. They may try very unfamiliar activities with people they don’t know well.
That kind of growth is priceless! So – now that leaves the question: what kind of summer camp program should I enroll my child in? We’ve got answers.
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