When you were a child, what did you look forward to the most about summer? Was it the end of classes; the warm weather; getting to sleep in? For me, summer meant summer camp! It is a major part of the summer experience for many children. According to the American Camp Association, over 10 million children attend summer camp in the United States annually.
Not just a place or an activity, camp is an experience greater than the sum of its parts. Summer camp promotes a healthy lifestyle and fosters community connections in fun and meaningful ways. Participants also meet children from outside of their school demographics. Each child brings their own life experiences to share with the others and the campers learn from each other.
Today, most children spend only twenty minutes each school day in recess. At home, most spend their time indoors on homework, video games, and television. Summer camp gets kids outside and active. The direct physical health benefits are crucial when the reported obesity rate in children is approximately 20% in Adams County, Pennsylvania, and the surrounding areas, according to the Susquehanna Intermediate Unit Center for Schools and Communities.
These days, being a kid is stressful! Camp provides a safe place for children to enjoy their childhood. Because the participants are in a safe environment and they are having fun, they are also better prepared to leave their comfort zone and try something new.
During summer camp, children are guided by their counselors but are encouraged to make their own choices. This fosters independence and self-efficacy in children. As children participate in camp activities, they gain valuable experience in communication, leadership, and decision-making. A nature-based summer camp can stimulate the academic and social growth of young people as it promotes conservation of the natural environment. Children who are engaged in environmental education become real-world problem solvers and self-directed learners.
Summer camps can be a realistic manifestation of the old adage that, “it takes a village to raise a child.” Community organizations often create partnerships to build a camp experience. Campers get to hear from and engage with members of their own community. Camp can be an important part of connecting children to their community resources and developing positive citizenship.
Children are not the only ones who benefit from camp. Summer camps help working parents by providing a safe place for their child to go and play and receive care. Camps also provide an opportunity for family bonding; participants always love to share stories with their family and friends.
Don’t miss out on the holistic benefits of summer camp for children and their families. Strawberry Hill’s Summer Nature Adventure Camps for Kids offer something for everyone: camping, art, history, forestry, animals and insects, science, food and habitats around the world, and water exploration. Best of all, summer camp is fun! Every week provides games and activities that allow kids to just be kids. As the school year comes to an end, we have to begin planning for summer boredom; it does not take long before children are tired of being at home!
Strawberry Hill Nature Preserve’s Summer Nature Adventure Camps for Kids are now open for enrollment. For more information visit www.StrawberryHill.org or contact us firstname.lastname@example.org. Call 717-642-5840 to register. We hope to see you here, where the love of nature begins!