Summer vacation offers a much-needed break to children’s school oriented routine. However, while kids should be able to relax, it’s important to not allow their abundance of free time to go to waste. Sending your child to summer camp is the perfect means for ensuring they don’t lose progress on growth made during the school year while also offering them various other avenues for personal development. To make this idea more concrete, here are 5 reasons children benefit from going to summer camp:

1. Kids learn skills important for becoming successful adults. As our workplace culture and expectations continue to evolve, public schools have struggled to keep pace with 21st-century innovations. By having kids participate in a number of different group based games and activities, summer camps foster a child’s ability to communicate effectively, work with others and lead confidently. This helps them towards growing into the sort of dynamic problem solvers capable of flourishing in modern team-based work environments.

2. Camp teaches kids how to be independent. Outside of the stiffly structured day to day procedure of school, campers are offered more opportunities to make decisions for themselves. Similarly, with less parental supervision while they’re away, kids also get some practice in self-responsibility and reliance. Building trust and respect from their peers and for themselves bolsters a camper’s self-esteem and practical social skills.

3. Camp deters the “summer slide.” Being in school around 180 days annually, kids no doubt deserve a break. However, the long summer vacation can wither academic growth made during the previous year. Because of this prolonged break from practicing skills such reading and math, kids tend to experience what is termed the “summer slide,” which refers to a steady decline in these essential academic abilities. By being involved in a camp that promotes learning through activities such as summer reading, fun science experiments, or Lego engineering programs, children reinforce what they study in school while applying their knowledge in new and fun ways.

4. Kids are offered the opportunity for substantial social growth. Being outside of their regular circles, camp provides kids with a place to become acquainted with new people and make new friends. This forces them to come out of their shell and battle their shyness—improving their socializing abilities overall. Furthermore, new environments give kids the space to redefine themselves. In an unfamiliar setting, they can explore aspects of themselves that may have trouble being expressed in more commonplace contexts. In a sleepaway setting, living with others their own age encourages campers to develop communicative skills necessary for building relationships and resolving conflicts.

5. Camp makes physical activity fun. In our sedentary, screen-oriented society, the experience of retreating to be active in nature is now more valuable than ever. Camp provides a place for kids to unplug and better acquaint themselves with the outdoors through fun and healthy activities that help build their appreciation for the environment. This increases their awareness of and respect for the health of themselves and nature, which lead to positive lifestyle developments. Though disconnecting from technology and the immediate comforts of home can prove challenging for some, in the long run dealing with these difficulties cultivates a child’s resilience and adaptability.

On top of being a ton of fun, summer camp is an excellent way to engage and educate your children in ways that school can’t. Summer Camp registration for the YMCA is open now. For more information about how to find the perfect summer adventure for your child, visit our camp guides page and find your local YMCA camp guide.

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