“Today’s children spend more than 7.5 hours a day engaged with technology, which often takes the place of vital hands-on activities and socialization opportunities,” says Jess Michales, Parent Guide News. Summer camp is an excellent opportunity for children to unplug and reconnect with nature while learning some invaluable life lessons.
Terrapin Adventures, conveniently located in Howard County, Maryland, between Baltimore and Washington DC, offers three fun and exciting summer camp experiences:
- Ultimate Adventure Camp: Each day, campers will embark on an exciting adventure, learning new outdoor leadership skills along the way. They will have a thrilling week participating in mountain biking, kayaking, ropes and much more!
- Rock N’ Adventure Camp: Earth Treks Columbia once again to bring you our Rock N’ Adventure program, which introduces campers to the basics of Rock Climbing.
- Adventure Expeditions Camp: Campers will discover their inner adventurer during their week at Adventure Expeditions Camp! We provide campers instructions as they try new outdoor adventure skills including camping, climbing, kayaking, biking, archery, slacklining, and more!
The Many Benefits of Terrapin Adventures Summer Camps
“The environment and activities at camp incorporate all of the elements of healthy youth development,” according to a study conducted by Harris Interactive. “Summer camp provides young people with productive and creative uses for their time by offering a valuable mix of both physical and intellectual activities.”
Childhood Leadership Development
“Leaders are likely to have had developmental experiences well before reaching mid-management and these early development experiences are important for adulthood,” write psychologists Susan Murphy and Stefanie Johnson, who believe leadership skills can be developed as early as 2 years of age. “We argue that early experiences create the foundation for future leadership development to build on.”
Summer camp is one of these opportunities for early leadership development – learning skills that a child will carry throughout their lives.
“As a society, we tend to look at college acceptance, graduate school degrees, and professional recognition as indicators of leadership,” says Wayne Meisel, Huffington Post. “Summer camp often gets skipped over in the interview or on the resume, but the experience should not be underestimated.”
“Archery is such a unique sport in that it requires a specific skill set, combining focus, aim and patience,” says Sarah Spittle, In the Know Mom.
- Focus: “Archery takes patience, discipline and focus to master, both of which are not common traits in children (in my experience),” says Spittle. “They can apply these learned skills to other parts of their lives like school work and friendships.”
- Patience: “Archery is not just physical, but very much a mental sport,” says Spittle. One of the biggest lessons learned is patience.
- Responsibility: “One thing I found very valuable in my daughter receiving her own bow is increased responsibility,” says Spittle. “With a bow and arrow in her hand, she is not only in charge of her own safety, but those around her.”
- Outdoors: “Research shows that children are spending half as much time outside as they did 20 years ago – and much more time doing ‘inside activities,” writes researcher Juster, F. Thomas. Summer camp is a great way for kids to get out of the house and interact with nature.
During camp, our experienced and entertaining guides teach campers the basics of kayaking before setting out – getting in and out of kayak safely, basic paddling strokes, etc. – so everyone involved can better enjoy the experience in a safe and relaxing atmosphere. The benefits of kayaking include:
- Health: Kayaking isn’t just fun, it can “elevate your cardiovascular health,” says William McCoy, LIVESTRONG.
- Problem Solving: “While kayaking, we often have to re-evaluate and come up with a new plan on the spot,” says Anabelle Plush, Canoe & Kayak. “We need to solve those problems as they arise, on the river.”
- Back to Nature: “Direct exposure to nature is essential for healthy childhood development ,” says child advocacy expert Richard Louv.
- Fun: Simply put, kayaking is a great time and kids love it.
“Children need to start to learn how to separate themselves from their families in order to become resilient and less reliant on their parents for healthy cognitive and behavioral development,” says Lizette Borreli, Medical Daily. This newfound freedom and independence helps build “self-esteem in a healthy and positive way.”
Overnight camping is often a child’s first time away from their parents. The experience gives children “a healthy separation from their parents, fostering independence,” says Jess Michaels, American Camp Association. This is a very important emotional and cognitive development step for children as they learn to not only function, but thrive on their own.
Rock climbing is a fun and, at times, physically challenging activity that offers several benefits.
- Physical Health: “Because you’re working a number of different muscle groups when you rock climb, you’ll increase your strength and muscle definition,” says Erin Coleman, FitDay. Climbing requires the use of your abs, obliques, delts, traps, biceps, lats, quads, calves, and even your forearms. According to a 1997 study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, rock climbing also has cardiovascular benefits – similar to running at a pace between 8 and 11 minutes per mile.
- Mental Health: “From a physical standpoint it’s incredible exercise, but some of the best tidings I get from climbing are what I would define as spiritual,” says Cedar Wright, team climber with The North Face. “From a mental standpoint, climbing is an amazing teacher, instilling focus, balance, determination and a whole … host of valuable life skills.” Rock climbing is like a puzzle. Yes, it involves physical exertion, but climbing also involves a tremendous amount of problem solving. How do I get from point A to point B in the most efficient way?
“If you’ve ever hung around college quads, climbing crags, or even public parks, you’ve probably seen someone walk barefoot, arms flailing for balance, across a one-inch-wide line of taut nylon webbing strung between two trees,” says Seth Heller, Outside Online. Walking the tightrope is no longer just for circus performers. Nowadays, slacklining is a popular activity for children and adults alike, and for good reason. Slacklining boasts a number of benefits, including:
- Balance: A 2012 study from researchers at the University of Fribourg, the University of Salzburg, and the Christian Doppler Laboratory found that slacklining improved a subject’s postural control – ability to stay balanced when something shifts underneath your feet.
- Outdoor Fun: “What better way to rekindle passion for the outdoors, than to venture and set up a slackline,” says writer Harry Cloudfoot. “Slacklining is fun and playful and teaches you a lot about the natural environment.”
- Injury Prevention: “Studies using traditional balance training have indicated that stability exercises could prevent some lower leg injuries,” says M. Brennan Harris, an associate professor of kinesiology at the College of William and Mary. “Knee injuries, ankle sprains—that sort of thing.”
- Socialization: “Science aside, the top benefit of slacklining may be that it’s just good fun,” says Heller.
“Getting outdoors and closer to nature has all sorts of benefits for our children. It keeps them fit, they can learn about the world around them and most of all it’s fun,” says Fiona Reynolds, Director-General of the National Trust.
Here at Terrapin Adventures, we maintain a ratio of one Camp Counselor for every six campers, providing encouragement, support and a helping hand when needed.
If you have any questions, please call Terrapin Adventure at 301.725.1313, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
- Coleman, Erin. “Here’s What You Need to Know About Melatonin / Fitness.” FitDay, www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/fitness/heres-what-you-need-to-know-about-melatonin.html.
- Meisel, Wayne. “Where Leadership Thrives: Summer Camp And The Hope For The World.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 16 June 2017, www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/where-leadership-thrives-summer-camp-and-the-hope_us_5940c7abe4b0d99b4c920fe1.