Magical & Meaningful Experiences For Kids
KRISTA ANDERSON-HILL, Senior Summer Camp Correspondent
February 7, 2019
Camp is an opportunity to gain exposure to new activities, friends and role models, all in a safe and nurturing environment. From science to art and nature to sports, there is a camp out there for every kid’s needs, interests and abilities. The benefits of camp are many and allow kids to make lifelong memories and build a great foundation for the new school year ahead.
Camp allows kids to try new things and master skills. Kids can tackle a new activity that pushes them outside of their comfort zone or show off a natural gift or ability. Camps are structured to provide kids with multiple opportunities to shine and hear compliments and affirmations about how special they are as a person and what makes them unique. Kids often leave camp with a feelings of pride and self reliance.
Unplug and Build New Friendships
Camp can be a space where kids unplug from technology, engage beyond the screen, slow down and make important face to face connections. Regardless of the theme of the camp, much of camp is focused on building social skills and giving kids a sense of belonging. At camp kids learn and strengthen the building blocks of friendship: how to play, work, relate, get along and celebrate others. Friendships and social connections are just as important to kids success as learning to read and write.
The Need for Play
Camp gives kids the play time their bodies and brains need over the summer break to supercharge learning and encourage creativity, imagination and passion. Play involves trying new things, hands on experiences, movement and connecting with others. When kids play they experience joy, relieve stress and open their minds to learning.
Easing Summer Slide
The typical 10 week summer break often results in kids losing some of the academic skills they learned during the school year; this is what educators refer to as the “Summer Slide”. Summer camps take learning outside of the traditional classroom and help kids stretch their creative and cognitive muscles. Camp engages kids in different types of learning and uses different parts of their brain, all helping to ease Summer Slide and build a strong foundation for the upcoming school year.
Counselors and Mentors
Kids who attend camp are exposed to carefully trained staff whose sole purpose is to mentor and support kids through challenging moments and achievements. Camp counselors are skilled at helping kids identify their strengths and feel valued and accepted. When many kids reflect on their camp experience they say the best thing about camp were the counselors.
It is clear that summer camps can give kids advantages in school and in life. But at the cost of $100 to over $1,000 per week, can most families afford summer camp? Yes!! HappiCampr’s Free/Scholarship Guide is your resource for identifying free camps and camps that provide scholarships and need based financial aid. Summer camp can be an experience for ALL of Austin’s kids.