In recent posts, we have discussed why summer camp is so important for your children and how it helps develop early leadership skills and further intellectual development. There is another tremendous, and much more obvious benefit to camp – socialization.
“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. While children do have some technology-free opportunities to make friends and develop relationships, particularly while at school, “camp offers your child a different environment in which to grow their social skills and expand their friendship circle,” says Morris Cohen, DNAinfo New York.
How Camp Helps Develop Social Skills
“Summer camp is the perfect time for kids to enhance social skills,” says Jessica Lopa, Mommy University. This personal growth takes many different forms.
“For some kids, summer camp is their first opportunity for independence,” says Lopa.
Whether sleepaway or day camp, 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.
“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.”
“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,” explains Cohen. The two phases of social intelligence are:
- Social Awareness: The ability to monitor one’s thoughts and feelings – empathy and social cognition.
- Social Facility:
At camp, children “ learn to navigate through group dynamics, to barter, to keep one another happy, to be sensitive and support a friend who’s sad,” says James Spearin, YMCA senior vice president of youth development.
Compassion & Inclusion
At camp, children are “urged to include, not exclude, others,” says Michael Brandwein, speaker and consultant. “They are praised for choosing new partners and not always the same ones. They are encouraged to respect the differences between people. In an increasingly sarcastic, put-down-oriented world, camps aim to be an oasis of personal safety where demeaning comments and disrespectful behavior are not tolerated, and children are taught responsible and positive ways to resolve conflicts.”
The Partnership for 21st Century Skills, an organization comprised of businesses, education leaders, and policymakers, found there is a large gap between the knowledge students learn in school and the skills they need to be successful. Summer camp helps fill those gaps, says Wayne Meisel, Huffington Post, who often jokes that he encounters two types of people in the workplace, “those who went to summer camp, and those who did not.”
“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.”
Three Great Summer Camps Right Around the Corner!
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.
- 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.
- Lopa, Jessica. “10 Benefits of Attending Summer Camp.” Mommy University, 27 Apr. 2016, mommyuniversitynj.com/2016/04/27/10-benefits-of-attending-summer-camp/.
- Michaels, Jess. “6 Summer Camp Benefits.” PARENTGUIDE News, www.parentguidenews.com/Articles/6SummerCampBenefits.