In recent posts, we have discussed why summer camp is so important for your children and how it helps develop early leadership skills, further intellectual development, and improve socialization. However, there is another often overlooked benefit to camp – Personal Growth.
“The biggest plus of camp is that camps help young people discover and explore their talents, interests, and values,” says Peter Scales, Ph.D. “Most schools don’t satisfy all these needs. Kids who have had these kinds of (camp) experiences end up being healthier and have less problems which concern us all.”
How Summer Camp Aids Personal Growth
Every year, more than 11 million children attend summer camp in the United States, according to figures from the American Camp Association (ACA).
“Being at summer camp, we all agree it seems, is more than just fun and games,” says Jeff Carter, Rockbrook Summer Camp for Girls. “It’s beneficial for children in unique and lasting ways.” These camps provide children with the safe and nurturing environment they need to step out of their comfort zones and learn important life skills.
“Summer camps are dedicated to helping children grow, certainly also to have a good time, but perhaps most importantly, to gain valuable skills and foster personal development,” says Carter.
While it happens at different times for different children, there comes a point when every boy or girl needs to learn how to separate themselves from their parents – at least a little. Camp offers an excellent opportunity to develop independence in a safe and controlled environment.
“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,” writes Lizette Borreli, Medical Daily.
“Camp gives children a healthy separation from their parents, fostering independence,” adds Jess Michaels, ACA. This is a very important emotional and cognitive development step for children as they learn to not only function, but thrive on their own.
“While in the welcoming environment of camp, youth are encouraged to learn new skills, and develop confidence and independence by taking on new responsibilities and challenges,” says the YMCA. It is through these challenges that children gain confidence in themselves and their abilities.
“Summer camps provide plenty of opportunities for kids to face new challenges and build their self-confidence through the daily achievements they make,” says Borreli.
“Summer camps are places where children get the experiences they need to bolster their range of coping strategies,” says Michael Ungar, Ph.D., Psychology Today. “There are the simple challenges of learning how to build a fire, going on a hike, or conquering a high ropes course. There are the much more complex challenges of getting along with a new group of peers, learning how to ask for help from others, or taking manageable amount of risks without a parent following after you.”
It is this personal resiliency that allows children to develop meaningful relationships – both personal and professional – later in life. Summer camp helps instill these lifelong skills in children at a young age.
“Camp is a key opportunity for kids to develop both sides of their social intelligence by offering them a way to practice becoming adept at socializing by offering them access to many new people and environments,” says Morris Cohen, DNAinfo New York.
Make the Most of Your Summer!
“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.”
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, and help them develop important life skills. We maintain a ratio of one Camp Counselor for every six campers, providing encouragement, support and a helping hand when needed.
Give your child a new experience that they’ll remember for years to come.
If you have any questions, please call Terrapin Adventure at 301.725.1313, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
- “5 Reasons Why Kids & Teens Can’t Miss Summer Camp.” YMCA of Greater Brandywine, www.ymcagbw.org/blog/5-reasons-why-kids-teens-cant-miss-summer-camp.
- “Benefits of Camp: Psychological Aspects.” American Camp Association, 23 Nov. 2016, www.acacamps.org/press-room/benefits-of-camp/psychological-aspects.
- Borreli, Lizette. “How Summer Camp Helps Develop Your Child’s Mental Health and Resilience.” Medical Daily, 19 June 2013, www.medicaldaily.com/how-summer-camp-helps-develop-your-childs-mental-health-and-resilience-246970.
- Carter, Jeff. “5 Powerful Ways Summer Camp Helps Your Child Grow | Rockbrook.” Rockbrook Summer Camp for Girls, Rockbrook Summer Camp for Girls, 4 Nov. 2017, www.rockbrookcamp.com/blog/camp-helps-children-grow/.
- Cohen, Morris. “The Social and Emotional Long-Term Benefits of Summer Camp.” DNAinfo New York, DNAinfo New York, 8 Apr. 2014, www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20140408/lower-east-side/social-emotional-long-term-benefits-of-summer-camp.
- Ungar, Michael. “Summer Camps Make Kids Resilient.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/nurturing-resilience/201202/summer-camps-make-kids-resilient.