6 reasons to send your teen to summer camp
Date: Tuesday, 21 March 2017. -
American Summer Camp , In the Press
Summer camp is a great experience for all kids. For teens, it has the added benefit of helping them develop important skills for transitioning to adulthood.
Here are some reasons given by teens, camp staff and parents as to why camp can be the perfect place to launch their future selves.
1. To prepare them for moving away from home
For some teens, summer camp may be the first time they have been away from home without their parents. Leaving home for college can be a very daunting time for both child and parent. Summer camp can provide a trial experience for this life event with the knowledge that it is just a short term. Camp staff and counselors are on hand for support and are well versed with dealing with homesickness. They will keep in touch with parents if there are any worries on either side and will be focussed on showing that everyone is getting well prepared for moving out one day.
Tommy had never been away. At 14, we knew it was time. I think we were more nervous than he was. Camp Emerson gave both of us that safe place for him to spread his wings.
2. To help them have independent time to grow
Camp is a great way for kids to have time to develop away from pressures of home, family, and school relationships. Many of the interpersonal skills teens build are the same ones they’ll need to be successful adults, whether this is within ongoing education, families, communities, and companies. Skills such as leadership, interpersonal skills, decision making and independence. These are not skills which are focused on in the school curriculum. Camp is a great way for building personal character, self-reliance. This is what is championed at camp rather than report cards or athletic achievements.
“Camp Emerson is a place for kids to come and grow up the right way. The way where they can be whatever they want to be.”
Dan - A Camper.
Find out more about his personal camp story here.
3. Safe risks and challenges
Teens want to try new things and experience the thrill of new adventures. Camp provices a supportive environment for testing new things within a safe and supervised environment. It may be as simple as being away from home, or trying watersports. Camp Emerson delivers an encouraging springboard for attempting new activities and even new personality traits. With supportive peers and adults all around they get advice and encouragement throughout the summer journey.
The best part of my job as a counselor for the older campers is helping them see what they can accomplish. They amaze themselves by trying new things they have never tried before.
4. Meet positive role models
Camp is a great way to meet positive role models that can have a real impact on your child. At Camp Emerson, the staff are seen as the secret sauce in providing an amazing and impactful summer experience for campers that will stay with them throguhout their lives. Camp offers teens the opportunity to be surrounded by young adults who are positive role models. Each counselor is selected for the huge contribution they can make to the camp experience, from their skills and knowledge in key areas, to their ability to support and nurture campers. The Counselors are crucial in disseminating Camp Emerson’s culture of kindness and respect. Most camp counselors are hard-working college students and teachers who are just the kind of young adults you want your teen to become.
The secret to our success is our staff. Each summer I handpick 100 professionals, including young adult instructors, registered dietitians, nurse practitioners and education administrators. I invest more than double the amount of training of any camp and empower them to impact the children in their own positive way. Together we create a culture where each person can excel.
Sue Lein, Camp Director, Camp Emerson
5. To be part of a supportive community of peers
At camp, they meet a variety of other teens from all over the country and world, who will have a range of different experiences but who can all share and bond over the camp experience. Camp is a place for exploring new activities as well as exploring who they are as people and who they are developing into.
I couldn’t believe that on the first night we all felt like sisters who had known each other for years. Camp is my happy place and I know we’ll stay together for years to come.
6. To give them some “kid” time away from life worries
We hear it so often – “kids grow up so fast these days” and it’s true. They have responsibilities and stresses in terms of homework, seeing parents undergo stress with work or financial situations and worry about college and their future. As they become teenagers the intensity of these worries can increase. As they move toward adulthood, more demands are made of them. Camp gives kids the opportunity to be children again, to leave behind the stresses and strain of life and enter the camp “bubble”. Here they can be free of burdens, and enjoy sharing time, experiences and friendship with others across the camp agegroups. Here they can have Fun!
Camp was the one place where I could really relax and be myself. I could work on my goals and not feel judged by my parents or teachers. Now that I’m in college, I can see that camp prepared me to live with all kinds of people and to know that I’d be okay anywhere. I miss camp every day.
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.
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