5 Reasons Your Kids Should Go to Camp
By Silvana Clark
Millions of kids go to camp each year, continuing a summer tradition that's been around for generations of American children. Camp is so much more than just getting your kids into nature! Learn why you should send your kids to camp this year.
I have cherished memories of spending my youth on Grandma's farm in the summer, collecting eggs, and helping plant a garden. We filled our days with bike rides along country roads followed by a dip in the old watering hole.
Whether you spent summers in the country or not, you likely remember relaxed and unscheduled days. In reality, we probably said the same thing our kids say to us…"M-o-o-o-m-m-m, I'm bored!" So as the ever-dutiful parent, you sign your children up for baseball on Tuesdays and Thursdays, interspersed with Science Adventures on Monday and Wednesday. That leaves Friday for art classes followed with swim lessons.
Naturally you spend the summer in the hot car furiously shuttling children from one activity to another. There is an easier way to spend your summer. Go to camp. No, not you—your children! Here are five reasons your child should go to camp this summer.
1. Your children will be around positive role models. Have you ever watched 18-year-old camp counselors? Their energy is unbelievable! Do you want to organize a dozen squirrelly ten-year-old boys to participate in an all-day water carnival? Would you enjoy laying on the grass as second graders paint your arms and legs with watercolors? Can you see yourself teaching archery to tween boys? Counselors love doing all those things!
Counselors are trained to provide safe, fun activities for kids. They'll listen to the same Knock-Knock joke with glee. Counselors also teach your son or daughter to listen when others speak and to help someone having difficulty with a craft project.
"Counselors have a great impact on campers because they are listened to as an established peer, not as a parent laying down the rules," says Bob Strodel, director of Brookwoods/Deer Run Camp in Alton, New Hampshire. "Think 'big brother' or 'big sister.' Counselors are role models because they are not the parents!"
Camps accredited by the American Camping Association require extensive staff training. It's been rumored counselors even get children to clean their cabins with only a gentle reminder. Can you do that? To find an accredited camp in your area, check out http://www.aca.org/.