Summer! Summer! Summer! is a mantra of repeated words that begins well before warm weather and the countdown to the last day of school arrive. From the perspective of youth, summer is a time of eliminating clocks and schedules, of slow pace and socialization. Despite the anticipated need to bask in the hammock of summer, there also is a desire to go on a grand adventure, drink gallons of bug juice, attempt new activities, and meet new friends. Whether your child enjoys the great outdoors or athletics, the arts, or wants to expand culinary interests, for instance, any desirable adventure can be found through a summer camp experience.
The Early Bird Gets the Worm
For well over 150 years, “camps” have been expanding the horizons of 10 million American youth each year. It’s always wonderful to hear that particular story which mentions a camper who attended year after year and sought to continue the camp experience as a counselor. It’s the stories, the adventure, and the new friendships which encourage children and teens to return to familiar retreats. Today, there are unlimited possibilities for the modern camper. To accommodate every budget and schedule, camp programs offer diverse themes and session lengths. In addition to leaving home from a week to the entire summer with a duffle bag full of clothes and toiletries, a sleeping bag and pillow in tow, campers can also participate in half-day to week-long day camps. Why wait until the end of the school year to make decisions? Now is the perfect time to capitalize on registering and reaping the rewards of an early sign-up. Not all camps offer an early registration discount; however, it is nice to feel assured that your child will have a confirmed spot in a preferred class and week.
This may be the summer to expand your child’s horizons and help him or her seek a new interest. Beyond gravitating toward passions and talents, there are any number of specialized camps that can introduce a new lifelong skill. Athletically inclined children, for instance, may become enthralled learning about archery, kayaking, horseback riding, or acting, while artistic youth may enjoy dance, photography, an engineering- or a creative writing-themed camp. It begins with sitting down with your child or teen to discuss options and make decisions together.
In the laid-back freedom of summer vacation, children are more open to try new experiences and meet new friends. In a camp environment, the labels found in schools do not apply. When a child comes home to talk about the events and best moments, that usually entails stories of new friends. Best of all, camp allows children to show a side of themselves that perhaps is hidden in an educational setting. With a camp’s non-competitive activities and diverse opportunities to succeed, campers discover new facts about their abilities and themselves. This understanding comes with trying, cooperating and compromising. We live in a society where children rarely venture far from the protection of home; yet, camp fosters the opportunity to step outside their familiar environment and face new challenges, with the support of many new friendly faces and counselors.
Today’s summer camp experience still provides activity, socialization, and high-spirited fun for campers of all ages. It will always be an adventure of freedom and self-improvement. Whether or not they realize it, camp life is intended to boost campers into believing that they can be and do more! This evening, sit down with your child and begin talking about summer intentions, and ideas about day and overnight camps. One thing is certain, opportunities are like fireflies. You have to catch them now, or they’ll fly away.