Summer Camp Helps Stimulate Intellectual Development

Summer Camp Intellectual Development

Finding meaningful activities for your child during the summer months can be difficult. “While having your child watch 10 hours of television a night or play video games throughout the day sounds like an easy fix, it can often impair their cognitive development,” says Lizette Borreli, Medical Daily.

As it is, Most students lose about two months of grade level equivalency in mathematical computation skills over the summer, according to the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA). However, this doesn’t have to be the case.

“Just because school is out for summer doesn’t mean your kids can’t grow intellectually,” says Troy D. Glover, Chair of the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies at the University of Waterloo.

At Terrapin Adventures, We Make Sure the Learning (and Fun) Doesn’t Stop Once School is Out

“While you may want your child to get a leg up on his or her peers by developing math skills during summer vacation, signing him or her up at a traditional outdoor camp can be a more transformative experience because of its emphasis on the development of soft skills and emotional intelligence,” says Glover. “Their (children’s) temporary relief from structured classroom teaching opens up exciting opportunities for them at summer camps that not only feed their craving for fun, but also satiate their emotional, physical and cognitive development.” This intellectual growth takes place in a number of different ways.

Problem Solving

“At camp, children learn to problem-solve,” says Peter Scales, Ph.D., a senior fellow with the Search Institute in Minneapolis. Children not only learn survival and nature skills, such as how to build a fire or how to identify plants and animals, but they also learn how to problem solve, work as a team, and think outside the box, keeping their minds sharp.

“Summer camp provides the freedom for children to make their own mistakes and learn from them so they know how to cope success and failure,” says Borreli. “Unlike school, children can try to implement new methods of how to do things without a set time limit on when the task should be done.”

Independence & Confidence

“Camp 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.

“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 Borreli. This newfound freedom and independence helps build “self-esteem in a healthy and positive way.”

Skills that Transcend the Classroom

“I often half joke that in the workplace, I encounter two types of people: those who went to summer camp, and those who did not,” says Wayne Meisel, Huffington Post.

At camp, children also learn important life skills that can apply both in the classroom and beyond. “When you look at the entrepreneurial and innovation skill set, a lot of what you need are the qualities that people get to practice at camp,” says Scott Brody, former national vice president of the American Camp Association: “creativity, communication, collaboration, and building your own sense of resilience.”

Terrapin Adventures: A Summer Camp Experience Your Child Will Never Forget

“Our nine-year-old son had a fantastic experience with Ultimate Adventure Camp. It was everything we wanted for him – a day camp that teaches outdoor leadership skills and environmental values, and it was close to home. It really was an adventure and a valuable learning experience for our son, who loved each activity more than the next, from zip-lining to wall climbing to floating down the river.” Laura Liebling

Terrapin Adventures, conveniently located in Howard County, Maryland, between Baltimore and Washington DC, offers three fun and exciting summer camp experiences designed to challenge your children physically and intellectually. We maintain a ratio of one Camp Counselor for every six campers, providing encouragement, support and a helping hand when needed.

“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.”

Give your child a new experience that they’ll remember for years to come.

Click Here to Learn More!

If you have any questions, please call Terrapin Adventure at 301.725.1313, or email us at to learn more.

  1. Borreli, Lizette. “How Summer Camp Helps Develop Your Child’s Mental Health and Resilience.” Medical Daily, 19 June 2013,
  2. Boy Scouts of America: Summer Camps Outcome Study A study conducted by Harris Interactive
  3. Glover Professor and Chair, Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies, University of Waterloo, Troy D. “Summer camp: How to help your child make the most of it.” The Conversation, 6 Mar. 2018,
  4. Michaels, Jess. “8 Awesome Things About Camp.” American Camp Association – New York and New Jersey, Post/ContentID/4902712/PostID/1249308?ReturnUrl=LwBzAHUAbQBtAGUAcgAtAGMAYQBtAHAALQA0ADEAMQAtAGIAbABvAGcA.
  5. Simonton, Stell. “New Mantra for Summer Camps: Develop Those 21st-Century Skills.” Youth Today, 25 Feb. 2016,
  6. Ungar, Michael. “Summer Camps Make Kids Resilient.” Psychology Today (2012). Web.
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