The Benefits of Going to Summer Camp
School is nearly over, and you no doubt already have Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out” ready to go on your iPod for that final locker clean-out moment. With the end of the semester comes an onslaught of expectations of how the next few months are going to go. You want to play with your friends, swim, and maybe make a little money doing some chores so that you can buy that special thing you have been thinking about. But one way to get a heck of a lot out of your summer experience is to go to summer camp. Basically vacation specifically made for kids, summer camp is a great way to experience time away from your parents and home and explore what life has to offer YOU as an individual.
New friends and memories
Something about being away from the social restraints of school builds strong friendships. Summer camp will place you in cabins or bunkers with other kids that are out of their elements as well. This builds strong bonds, and camp councilors will help to ensure that everyone is included. The memories you make at camp are priceless. I promise you that when you are an adult and working, you will look back fondly on those times at camp when your only job was to have fun and make friends. Exchange contact information with your new friends and write about or draw your favorites moments.
At summer camp you get to make a lot of your own decisions: what food are you going to eat? Which team are you going to join? What craft or music workshops are you interested in? What physical activity are you going to partake in? Which games will you join? Etc. While the camp will provide you with a safe and nurturing environment, its enjoyment is completely up to you. Do not let your friends make these choices for you. Take charge of your camping experience!
Try new things
Some camps are western themed, and you may get the chance to ride or even do gymnastics on a horse! Take chances and try things you would never get to do back home. Camp staff will make sure you are safe, so whether it’s BMXing or joining a play for the first time or something else new and exciting, step out of your comfort zone and take advantage of your temporary summer home.
Get close to nature and away from technology
For many people, going to summer camp is learning how to play again. It’s a TV/video game/cellphone-free retreat that throws you right smack in the middle of nature. All you will hear at night is the wind, trees, wild life and your friends. Stars will be brighter and you will begin to feel more free. This is the perfect place and time for campfires and sing-alongs, late night stories and getting to know your new friends. After one summer at camp, you will begin to associate summertime fun with the great outdoors.
Summer camp provides non-competitive activities that are geared towards inclusion and teamwork. With so many options—from zip lining to tubing etc.—it will be easy to find your niche. Find what you love to do, and that love will follow you back from summer camp to your regular daily home life. Team-building exercises at camp focus on everyone helping to achieve a goal rather than following a leader. This will make you feel confident and help you gain a sense of comradery.