Chances are, some of your fondest memories were formed during summer camp. With just the right amount of structure and a healthy dose of fun, summer camp allows children to grow, connect, explore, and learn in ways that develop their identity. The benefits of summer camp extend beyond memory-making and include everything from academic progress to social skill enhancement. But when you sign your kids up for summer camp, they only hear one thing, “fun!” Take a look at 10 benefits of summer camp that prove you should definitely sign your kids up for the “fun.”
1. Summer Camps Help Kids Retain What They’ve Learned
There’s a reason schools promote things like summer reading. Kids’ brains are inundated with information on a daily basis, so summers filled with video gaming, iPads, TV, and phones don’t leave much room for anything else. It’s easy to forget mathematic equations or grammar rules when you’re lounging by the pool all day. The brain craves and requires stimulation to enhance memory and retention. Summer camps have the unique ability to build on what students learn during the year in ways that are engaging and exciting.
2. Summer Camps Help Kids Discover New Skills
Trying out for a middle school sports team might be intimidating, but trying a pick-up game at camp is a casual way to introduce a new skill. Kids who don’t see themselves as artistic might discover a new passion when given the time to paint or work with clay. The diversity of camp activities exposes students to indoor and outdoor activities they might never pursue on their own. Framing an identity is essential to students, particularly as they enter the middle grades. Summer camps allow them to try on multiple “hats” to see what fits.
3. Summer Camps Break Down Friendship Barriers
Young kids often make friends with whoever happens to sit near them in class or play on their same sports team. Often, meaningful friendships go unmet if barriers like different homerooms, social cliques, or cultural differences stand in the way. Summer camps are an excellent equalizer, promoting inclusion and greater social opportunity. Friendships formed in summer camp outlast casual friendships formed by proximity, since they’re rooted in bonding experiences.
4. Summer Camps Connect Kids with Nature and Others
It’s easy for kids to get too much screen time in the summer, particularly when parents are at work. While kids fight for more time with their screens, their minds and bodies actually need a break. Summer camp builds in extensive play time, exercise, social interaction, and creativity. As social media and internet activity create depression and anxiety in our kids, it’s increasingly important to provide alternative entertainment. Studies show that time spent in nature is both physically healthy and mentally healing.
5. Summer Camps Build Self-Esteem
Creating the opposite effect of excessive screen time, summer camps actually enhance kids’ well-being. Kids get to try new things safely with encouraging camp leaders by their side, which increases their sense of accomplishment. They discover things about themselves they never knew and develop passions for activities they excel in. Social interaction is much less intimidating in camp environments where social “rules” about who you hang out with aren’t the same. Many kids come back to school in the fall with a broader friend group and an improved sense of belonging after summer camp.
6. Summer Camps Encourage Healthy Eating
If your kids are left to their own devices to make lunch this summer, how many would choose a well-rounded plate? Even as adults, it’s challenging to eat a healthy lunch when you’re on the go. At home, your kids might grab whatever is in the pantry, or skip lunch altogether if they fill up on snacks. At summer camps with meal plans, kids enjoy lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, veggies, and dairy products served in kid-friendly ways. What’s more, they eat in the company of peers, which means they’re more likely to try healthy foods since everyone else is too.
7. Summer Camps Enhance Creativity
Some kids are naturally drawn to creative pursuits, but others have yet to tap into their creative side. Summer camps present creative outlets that classrooms can’t always provide, like coding, graphic design, or video game design. For those who aren’t inclined to paint or draw, they can see creativity from a whole new perspective. Creating something of your own instills confidence in kids that helps see them through the ups and downs of adolescence.
8. Summer Camps Promote Team Mentality
Many summer camp activities require team participation, whether it’s solving a brainteaser or winning a game of kickball. The youngest students often work independently at school, but group projects and extracurriculars will soon require them to work well in teams. Summer camps are a great opportunity for kids to practice this skill, which is hard to replicate at home. When they head back to school in the fall, they’re much more likely to be a good teammate with summer camp as a guide.
9. Summer Camps Build Resilience
Maybe kids are away from home longer than before when they attend summer camp. Or maybe they’re taking on summer camp without their best friend or familiar teacher by their side. Summer camps provide just enough structure to put kids at ease, but enough diversity to help them grow. Once kids see how they shine at summer camp, they are more equipped to tackle other new things that come their way. It creates a feeling of independence to excel at a new adventure, and summer camps gently guide kids toward resilience.
10. Summer Camps Are Fun!
This is #1 on the list when kids sign up for camp- couldn’t we all use a little more fun? It puts you at ease to know your kids are having a blast when you drop them off at camp- just wait for the stories when they come home! While all the benefits of summer camp are essential to your child’s growth and development, we can all agree, childhood flies by too fast! So, sign your children up for a summer of fun, and take pride in knowing the fun comes with multiple rewards.
Las Vegas Day School offers excellent summer camp options to keep your kids engaged while having the time of their lives! Our Junior X-Treme Summer Camp features exciting activities like yoga, clay-making, kickball, and science experiments, coupled with healthy meals and reading time for pre-K and kindergarten students. X-Treme Summer Camp kicks it up a notch for 1st-8th graders with STEM exploration, building design challenges, Minute-to-Win-It, sports competitions, video game design, cultural and artistic activities, and more! It also allows time for age-appropriate personal devices, movies, and awesome food, for tweens who choose to plug in at times. We also offer comprehensive summer instruction like Summer School and Middle School Prep. Click here to learn more and book a thrilling summer camp for your kids!Categorized in: Summer Camp