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10 reasons to send your kid to summer camp

Sue Lein
Posted by Sue Lein

Date: Tuesday, 14 March 2017. -  
American Summer Camp , In the Press

When planning activities for your child to occupy them over the summer, there are lots of competing options on both your time and money. Here are some reasons given by kids, counselors and parents as to why camp is a great experience.

1. Making lifelong friends

Camp is about making friends. Living with bunkmates creates close bonds which provide the comfort and mutual support while away from their parents. Often we hear of people meeting at camp and becoming “friends for life”. It gives your child the unique opportunity to make friends outside their classmates, family and neighborhood. Building friendships helps develop confidence and the shared experiences of camp build lasting memories.

“Camp Emerson has introduced me to new friends. It's made me better at tennis. But any camp can do that. Camp Emerson is unique because it changes who you become. The people around you, the campers and the counselors teach you so much. They become your best friends and teach you what a real friend is.”

making friends at camp

2. Experiencing diversity
Spending the summer at camp allows kids to meet and connect with others from different cultural and social backgrounds as well as geographical locations. It’s a great way for kids to learn that not everyone does things the same way as they do. The world is full of diversity and camp is a great way to experience it, in an inclusive and nurturing environment where individuality is celebrated. At our camp, one of the main values we encourage is individualism. We work to inspire the children to embrace their true selves and to cheer their friends on for their unique strengths.
At Camp Emerson, 80% of our campers come from Northeast USA (Boston – Washington DC) 10% hail from other States and 10% are international campers across 39 different countries!

"Meeting campers and staff from all over the US and the world is one of my favorite parts of camp. Our dining hall is filled with flags from everywhere. It’s a point of pride that everyone is welcome at Camp Emerson."

Camp Emerson Dining Hall Flags of the World

3. Building confidence and independence
Camp Emerson focuses on developing each child’s strengths and helping them to explore new activities and grow outside of their comfort zone. To do this, they must feel safe and know that we understand who there are as an individual. Making friendships, trying new things all under the kind and watchful eye of camp staff who encourage them to try within a safe environment and provide positive role models who can leave a huge impression, like an older sibling!

"Alex has been home for 5 days now and I felt it necessary to tell you how thrilled we are. He returned to us healthy, happy, self-confident, optimistic, polite and sensitive. We could not have asked for more. His experience at camp was positive in every way. And he said that he can’t wait to go back next year. We want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts."

building confidence at camp

4. Spending time outdoors
It may sound cliché, but it really is about getting back to nature, being outside in the fresh air, whether on land or in water. Children are increasingly spending less time outside and camp can help reconnect them with nature. At Camp Emerson we are lucky to have a stunning setting, 170 Acres in the Berkshire Mountains of western Massachusetts. Being outdoors can be anything from playing sports or smelling the flowers in Addie’s garden. It can be campfires, walking barefoot in the grass, watching frogs, building a fire, chasing our butterflies, marvelling at a lunar moth, or simply traveling from the bunk to the dining hall during daily camp life.

"The stars at camp are amazing. The sky is so clear. I’ve never seen anything like it."


spending time outdoors at summercamp

5. Making special memories
Camp creates a host of very special memories for your child to carry with them through life. Much of this is about sharing experiences with others. Campers enjoy keeping the camp memories alive through the year by staying in touch. Camp Kids take away lots of memories whether it’s silliness they shared, trying something new or breaking a bravery barrier. It’s a time of discovery and self-improvement that will stay with your child long after they return home from camp.

“Not a day goes by where I don't revisit the magical place of Camp Emerson in my mind. You and your family have created a place where children feel completely safe to be themselves, shine as an individual and grow as person. It is truly incredible. Over the past 5 years you have done so much for me and I will be eternally thankful.”

making memories at camp emerson

6. Being part of a community
At Camp, your child becomes a part of the camp family. Camp Emerson encourages inclusivity and aims to encourage a strong sense of belonging amongst campers in a safe environment where they can grow and florish. This starts before they even arrive at camp, with cool packages and correspondence and in some cases, home visits. After camp ends, the kids remain part of our community, we send out yearbooks and touchpoints through the winter. The Camp Emerson family comes with a lifetime membership. Even when campers graduate and move on with adult lives, we love hearing how they are progressing in life and how camp has influenced who they are.

“Camp Emerson means a lot to me. It feels like home to me. The counselors feel like your parents and the campers feel like your brothers or sisters.”

boys with Counselors

7. Being active
In this technology obsessed world, camp gives kids a chance to be kids again. Camp cuts back on distractions and provides fun and healthy alternatives to Snapchat and video games. Many of these alternatives involve being active, whether on a sports field, a stage or in a kitchen or music studio. We get them up and moving!

“Before camp, I had never really tried basketball. I’m not a huge sports person. My counselor was the basketball coach, and we decided to choose the activity as a bunk. At first, I wasn’t sure. I am happier in the art center. We would always start with fun games my counselor took the time to help me improve my shot and I quickly became more confident. “


“I was not happy about leaving my phone at home. I’m used to being able to text my parents and friends all day long. I admit that at camp, I didn’t miss it. Being with friends like this is much better.”


swimming at summer camp

8. Developing interests
Camp Emerson provides a safe and nurturing environment for a child to try new activities that could turn into lifelong passions. There are many fun activities for kids to discover. At Camp Emerson we have over 50 activities across Athletics, Culinary arts, Performing Arts, Step Beyond (Science & More), Swimming & Water sports, Visual Arts and Wilderness.
“My daughter found your camp first because of your theatre offerings. She didn’t want to go to just a theatre camp because she also wanted to try fencing. At Camp Emerson, she got everything she wanted.”

trying activities at camp emerson

9. Giving Kids a stress-free bubble

Kids experience the stress of our adult world in many ways, absorbing and being affected by it. Summer camp creates a barrier from the news and craziness of the outside world. We work hard to create a bubble where kids feel safe and respected. We watch personal connections made every day and see differences disappear. We have campers from all over the world, the country and from many different walks of life. Here, they are just kids. The world becomes smaller and we delight in our shared experiences that we can’t replicate outside of our camp bubble.
“It’s my happy place, I feel the best about myself at camp.”

10. Helping fill the summer with kid centric fun and activities

Many parents are working, and spending time with their children during summer break just isn’t possible. Camp isn’t just somewhere you can “park” your kids while you work, it is so much more. It is a place where they will feel special and nurtured and looked after in a way that will give you peace of mind that they are having an amazing summer and also developing as people. When they get home they will have so much to tell you!
“All three of our children have attended - and loved - Camp Emerson and have remained at the camp until they aged out. My three children are incredibly different in personality and interests and it always amazes me that three such different children all love the same camp. It is a direct reflection of how the camp is run. The directors are on top of everything and personally ensure all the kids feel loved, well cared for, and appreciated. The counselors are top notch, too. Emerson has been a gift for all three of our children and we feel so lucky to have found it. “
Laura and Doug

Did this post help you decide if you will send your child to camp? Comment and tell us your thoughts. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

Like this article? Have you read "6 reasons to send your teen to Summer Camp"?



Emersonians have come from 39 different countries