Introducing Your Child To The Wonders Of Summer Camp
By: Lee Holmes, ellaslist
School camp is a wonderful experience for children and one that they’ll look back on with many fond memories and personal recollections.
For some parents, the first camp experience with a child is the rush and excitement of the early morning drop off, and the promise of longer sleep-ins with no school pick-ups or drop-offs for a few days. Watching your child eagerly awaiting the camp coach to pull up, ready to learn and discover new things and standing tentatively with a fully packed camping bag and a pillow under one arm brings back memories of your own camp experience, perhaps it was the possums breaking into tents, the scary campfire ghost stories or the never-ending roster of who is on dish duty and when. It’s only natural for some children to be a tad nervous when embarking on the camp experience for the very first time. For many kids, it’s their first big trip away from home in an unfamiliar setting and without their support network or creature comforts.
Image: Quest Skills For Life
Parents can support their children in a number of ways to help ease their worries and concerns and encourage them towards having an adventurous and fruitful camp experience.
If your child is going to camp for the first time, think about all of the incredible benefits that they’ll gain and remember to talk to them about your own camp experience. Many children in camp come back with more life skills and have a newfound sense of confidence and resilience. Children don’t want to miss out on being with their peers and experiencing the inner satisfaction of tackling their fears head on and developing their own independence. There are so many reasons to send your child to camp and it’s a good journey for a parent too, to be able to trust and let go, knowing that your child is in a structured environment and under the best possible care.
Image: Point O'Pines
If you’re on the fence about school camp consider these ten reasons to give your child the opportunity to experience camp.
1. Memories Are Formed At Camp
Magical memories, that don’t involve mum or dad. Having experiences away from home builds confidence in kids and an independent spirit.
2. Time Away Is Time To Thrive
Kids flourish in a camp environment. Away from parents and the pressures of school, they grow in self-reliance, respect and responsibility. They get to make decisions for themselves, without the guidance of parents or teachers and develop their identity.
3. Fostering Spunk In Kids Since Forever
Fortitude, grit, backbone…whatever you want to call it, kids get this in bucket loads at camp. They get to step outside their comfort zone, try new things and see that even with setbacks, they will eventually succeed.
4. Camp Gets Kids More Active and Social.
By unplugging technology, kids interact more with their environment and engage in creative thinking. They eat and sleep better and have greater focus. It’s green time, not screen time and its something that camp does well.
Image: Audubon Center of the North Woods
5. Reconnecting With Nature
Studies show being in nature boosts concentration, aids creative play and improves health and wellbeing. It can even reduce stress. Daily exposure to the green outdoors also nurtures naturally brighter children too. That’s a win-win in any parents’ books.
6. Best Friends Are Made At Camp
For kids, the chance to play with other kids is one of the best things about camp. Along the way, they also cultivate emotional and social skills that build character and bolster confidence and self-esteem. Some kids even make friends for life.
7. Just Like Riding A Bike
With so many activities on offer, camp gives kids the chance to try a variety of activities and discover what they like to do. It’s also the perfect environment to learn and develop skills that will stay with them for life.
8. If At First You Don’t Succeed
With every new experience and activity, kids at camp learn that success comes from determination and persistence. And this builds confidence that stays with them in the classroom, on the sports field and throughout life.
Image: Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows
9. Active, All Day Long
It’s all go, go, go at camp. From sun up to sun down, kids can take part in an endless number of activities and games that get them off the couch and outdoors being active
10. Unstructured Play
When kids play, they get to tap into their creativity. They learn to relax and how to handle stress and conflict. It’s empowering and a great self-teacher.
Camp delivers so many direct and indirect benefits that parents who are at first reluctant, often become its biggest advocate. Seeing kids return from camp, full of vim and vigour and that little bit more grown up is a heartening thing for a parent. Knowing that some kids will cherish these memories for life? Priceless.
NSW Sport and Recreation hold a range of school holiday kids’ camps in unique centres throughout NSW. Find out more about the school camps offered at Sport and Recreation or call 13 13 02. Did you know Sport and Recreation also offer kids’ camps during the school holidays?
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