TEEN BOARDING SCHOOLS
How Will My Child Benefit From Summer Camp?
- Chance to get away from daily emotional stresses of home or school
- Opportunity to gain self-confidence and sense of accomplishment
- Chance to learn how to be interdependent (not dependent!) and independent
- Structured, supportive, nurturing environment from which to embark on new experiences and to test new ideas
- Opportunity to acquire, practice and perfect valuable learning skills
Summer Camp is One Thing Kids and Parents Agree On!
Peace, quiet, no carpool, no need to stress out over supervising, chaperoning and generally providing entertainment for bored kids on school vacation...sound like a dream come true? From a parent's perspective, it is. In fact, for many busy moms and dads, the prospect of sending a child to summer camp sounds endlessly enticing. But what about summer camp from a child's perspective? And is summer camp a suitable option for a child with special emotional or behavioral concerns?
As it turns out, summer camp is one of those rare topics upon which both kids and parents agree - almost unanimously! After all, most children love the prospect of playing, socializing, exploring and experimenting in the company of other friends and counselors - and parents love the fact that their child gets chance to experience such things.
But just what are the specific benefits of sending your child to summer camp, and why should you consider it?
First of all, summer camp is an ideal opportunity for children with specific emotional or behavioral needs to socialize with their peer group in a safe and structured but relaxed environment. Camps offer children who struggle with the pressures of academics a constructive and definitely educational atmosphere within they can acquire and practice learning skills like problem-solving and working as part of a team: skills your child can apply when he or she returns to school in the fall.
If your child has been experiencing emotional difficulties at home and/or at school, summer camp is also the perfect opportunity for him/her to take a "vacation" from the daily struggles he or she might be facing and to gain much-needed self-confidence and perspective. Depending upon your child's needs (and the advice of teachers, counselors and other professionals with whom your child might be working), you might consider choosing a camp that specializes in helping kids with the kinds of challenges your child is experiencing.
Like any other camp, these specialized camps might offer lower camper:counselor ratios, planned activities, outings and experiences designed to help your child build the necessary emotional skills to work through his/her concerns, and an increased number of accredited, trained counselors and staff. Like all camps, you'll find that they offer the same welcoming, supportive and family-oriented environment and a menu of activities ranging from canoeing and swimming or rock climbing and backpacking to arts, crafts and theatre.
Sports-specific and/or subject-specific camps also operate just like "general" camps, but give campers the opportunity to spend concentrated amounts of time building skill and ability in one particular area. Does your child love baseball or soccer? Look for an athletic camp that offers clinics and workshops as well as plenty of playing time. Got a kid who's interested in building robots? There are camps for that, too! But no matter what type of camp you select, the bottom line is that your child is bound to reap the benefits of such an experience.
According to the American Camping Association, not only do summer camps provide kids with the chance to develop both independence (the ability to work effectively alone) and interdependence (the ability to work with others), camp experience can also build self-confidence and a sense of pride and accomplishment (through completing tasks, challenges and projects). Better yet, the opportunity to make new emotional and personal discoveries on a daily basis also helps kids generate a sense of self-control and, just as important, a sense of possibility.