As the school year ends, kids look forward to summer vacation plans and time spent outdoors. As schools and businesses begin to open once again, families can look forward to transitioning back to in-person activities such as summer camp moving forward. Summer camp provides an opportunity for kids to remain engaged over the season through fun activities so they’re ready for the next school year. Read on to learn the benefits of camp enrollment for your family.
4 Benefits of Summer Camp Programs
- Prevents Summer Learning Loss
While summers are a welcome break for children, it’s important to still expose them to intellectually stimulating activities throughout the season to avoid summer learning loss. Summer learning loss, or the “summer slide”, refers to the expectation that students have lost some of the knowledge they acquired from the previous school year due to an extended recess. This can affect confidence and test scores over time, and widen achievement gaps between students from more vulnerable communities.
Enrolling your kids in engaging, supportive environments will enable them to be ready for the fall school year, reinforcing the knowledge and skills they have gained. Summer camp sessions engage children in mentally and physically stimulating activities to keep them on track for fall enrollment, especially during uncertain times as the pandemic continues. Summer learning programs will also ease the transition from virtual learning back to in-person learning, as well as reintroduce much-needed playtime and socialization.
2. Fosters Important Social Skills
Participating in summer camp activities teaches children a variety of skills, all while having fun with their peers in a safe environment. Through structured activities and exercises, kids learn how to follow instructions, communicate, problem-solve, and develop a sense of leadership.
Through tasks such as playing sports, crafting, or hiking, camp enables children to appreciate the value of community by using teamwork to face challenges and achieve goals. They will learn to respect individual differences and perspectives, and bolster one another’s strengths. Camp nurtures these skills in a supportive atmosphere so kids can carry them over into the real world.
3. Builds Self-Esteem
Summer camp nurtures independence through guided and unstructured play time. While children can choose between fun activities, a schedule and routine still offers security as they pursue novel interests. Moreover, this relaxed environment encourages creative thinking, exploration, and making decisions on their own. In turn, children foster confidence in their ability to interact with the world around them and rely on their decision-making skills.
Campers learn to value their unique traits and abilities as they contribute to their community through their individual passions. This process builds self-esteem as they hone newfound skills, forge strong relationships with their peers, and leave camp with a stronger self-identity.
4. Encourages a Healthy Lifestyle
During the pandemic, it has become harder to combat excessive screen time due to virtual learning requirements and childcare obstacles. A recent report from Axios found children’s screen time has risen 60% or more, with children ages 12 and younger spending upwards of five or more hours on screens per day. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends children ages two to five years old should get an hour or less of screen time per day. Furthermore, the AAP reports too much screen time can lead to negative effects such as impaired sleep, obesity, and behavior problems.