Health Benefits of Summer Camp
Before you know it, the schools will be opening their doors to set your kiddos free for the summer. What’s more, the kids (teens included) will be quietly planning their summer escapes to the digital and video-game worlds. But is that where you really want them spending their precious time? Probably not. At least not too much of it. So why not consider summer camps around your area? They’ll do a great job peeling your kids from screens and keeping them actively involved in good stuff. At summer camps, kids not only learn valuable life lessons, but also gain multiple health benefits.
As you entertain the idea of sending your child off to camp, remember that not all camps are overnight affairs. Day camps are just as beneficial as the sleep-over camps. The child gets to participate in day-long activities and return home in time for dinner, which can be the best of both worlds. Your child will get to have a fun, summer camp experience, and you’ll hold on to your peace of mind. Here are some of the summer camp health benefits you can expect your kids to gain:
- Social Opportunities – If you’d like your child to make new friends, summer camp is a great opportunity for him to engage in social interactions outside of the school building. What’s more, if your child is a teen, summer camp can help her develop social skills in a more mature environment. In addition, encouraging her to try summer camp will put her in everyday social situations that will prepare her for college and beyond.
- Exercise – Summer camps are a great opportunity to leave technology behind and participate in active fun, such as running, canoeing, hiking, swimming, horseback riding, dancing and more. The trick is finding the camp your child will enjoy most. If your child is involved in sports, a sports camp is a great opportunity to hone her skills, but if your child doesn’t have a preferred sport or activity, there are camps that give attendees the opportunity to try new things.
- Leadership Skills and Self-Esteem – Camps can offer many character-building exercises and opportunities for kids to challenge themselves, thus developing a sense of independence. Kids try new adventures, gain confidence in their abilities, learn to solve problems, work together and assert leadership roles.
- Healthy Eating Habits – Many experts believe camp is a good way to promote nutrition education and healthy eating habits because it’s a completely new setting for the kids. Attendees are more likely to try new foods and eat their fruits and veggies.
- Connection with Nature – Summer camps generally conduct a good portion of their activities in the great outdoors, which is just what the doctor ordered. Time outside, regardless of age, has been proven to relieve stress, improve academic performance and promote sociability. It’s a fantastic outlet for children of all ages!
- New Hobbies – Summer camps provide so many activities, kids will undoubtedly discover new ones to love that will extend their skills and abilities. Finding a new hobby can lead to honing those skills and giving them a lifelong love and passion for something they learned at camp. What if your child doesn’t fall in love with a craft or sport his camp provided him? No worries. The simple knowledge of and exposure to these hobbies will make your kids well-rounded individuals.
- Resilience – New challenges and obstacles encountered at camp help kids develop a resilient nature, fostering critical thinking skills and motivational drive to solve problems that appear. And while the kids may not always succeed at challenges they’re given, this adversity teaches them endurance and enables them to improve themselves for the next time.
- Unplugged Technology – There’s so much more to life than a screen! Unplugging from the world of technology does kids a world of good. Summer camp gives kids and teens alike the opportunity to put down their phones and video games and enjoy the real world around them. Campers will be spending much of their time playing and exploring in nature. From this alone, they will gain practical skills and self-reliance, helping them to become less dependent on technology.
Kansas City mom and author Gina Klein is hoping to encourage her two daughters to sign up for a summer day camp