With your family’s summer calendar already filling up, it can be hard to try and squeeze in one more thing. But if you have never sent your child to summer camp, here are seven reasons why you should consider doing so.
1. With so many camp options, it’s easy to find a great fit for your child. From sports camps to art camps to STEM-based camps and more traditional overnight options, summer camps are designed to serve a variety of ages and interests. The duration of a camp ranges from a few mornings for younger kiddos to weeklong sleep-away camp for older kids. Local churches, organizations and companies, recreation centres, etc., offer a wide range of camps. With a little bit of research, you can easily find a camp well-suited to your child.
2. Camp provides your child with experiences they might not have access to in everyday life. Horseback riding. Paddling a canoe across the lake. Wilderness survival. Conquering a ropes course. Sleeping under the stars. Adventures are endless at camp, and your child will have an opportunity to try something new. For a young camper, trying a new craft activity or learning a new camp song can be so much fun!
3. Camp is a safe place to practice social skills. It might be awkward or uncomfortable for your child during those first few hours of camp when they don’t know a single soul - after all, stepping into a new social environment can be challenging. But the ability to comfortably communicate with new people is a life skill that all kids need, and camp is a great place to practice! Camp also provides kids an opportunity to form friendships with a whole new group of peers they might never have met otherwise.
4. Camp gives your child a much-needed technology break. No matter how old your child is, they could probably benefit from a screen hiatus, especially during the summer months. Spending time outdoors, learning a new skill, having fun, and forming new friendships is good for the body and soul!
5. Sending your child to camp is beneficial for you, too. Dropping off your child for their first day of camp may be gut-wrenching but entrusting your child to someone else or others for a while can be truly beneficial to you. Maybe it will free up time for overdue self-care or give you and your partner time to reconnect. Maybe it will provide an opportunity to hit the reset button with your tween or teen. Parenting is tough work, so don’t feel guilty if you enjoy this time to yourself. Chances are, your kid is going to have a blast at camp without you!
6. Your child’s experience as a camper could help them land a summer job in the future. Camps are staffed by amazing counsellors who provide kids with all kinds of good, clean fun. Most of these counsellors were campers once, too. Now they get to help a new set of youngsters make unforgettable summer memories, all while sharpening their own teamwork and leadership skills. Your child might have that same opportunity one day. What a great way to spend the summer!
7. Camp is just plain fun. So many adults have fond memories from their days spent at camp as a child, and kids who have been to camp often say it’s the favorite part of their summer. Odds are, your kid is going to love camp, too! And for that reason alone, it’s worth sending them to camp.
Mary is a mom of two boisterous boys. Besides chronicling her adventures in motherhood, she loves the outdoors, reading, and all things crafty.
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