Feeling anxious about sending your child away to camp this summer? Fret no more. This list of life skills reminds you of all the reasons to send kids to camp in the first place.
Published: February 2, 2018
By: Christina Katz
Remember, being away from the comforts of home offers your camper growth opportunities in a wide variety of competencies. Best of all, once kids are safely dropped off at camp, parents can sit back, relax and enjoy some much-needed downtime, knowing kids will return home transformed by their experiences.
Here are 30 skills to remind parents why camp is always a good idea:
Fitness. If your child is passionate about virtual realities, camp is the perfect motivation to get off the couch and get moving. You will be pleased when your child returns home tan, fit and inspired to keep moving.
Proficiency. Does your child complain of boredom? Exposure to skill-building activities can convert complaining into pride. Aptitude, discipline and confidence come from doing new things.
Safety awareness. Do you find yourself fretting about your child’s well-being? Then send her to camp to learn about first aid, water safety, and other safety protocols that go hand in hand with learning new things. When she gets home, she can teach you a thing or two about safety awareness.
Eye-hand coordination. Concerned your child may be a tiny bit klutzy? Send him to camp to participate in activities that encourage process mastery like archery, horseback riding or rowing. Having to learn an ordered series helps dreamy kids focus and execute tasks.
Healthy risk-taking. Is your child an adrenalin junkie? Do you worry that she will go too far testing the limits of what’s humanly possible? Camp is the perfect place to wear out a child with excess energy. Counselors can help campers channel a zest for risks into safe outlets while honoring camp rules.
Decision-making. Does your child waffle when making decisions, take polls of other people’s opinions or go along with the crowd too easily? Then camp is the perfect practice ground to determine what he wants and needs on a regular basis. Choosing is a crucial ability for creating satisfaction in life.
Accountability. Do you wonder if you do too much for your child? Whether she has to pack her own backpack for an overnight hiking trip or show up wearing activity-appropriate shoes, being prepared for what’s coming next in life is important. When it comes to accountability, daily practice is always on tap at camp.
Time management. If your child is often running late, camp is a great place to learn timeliness. Your child will swiftly master punctuality when engaged in activities she enjoys. And this proactive habit can carry over into everyday life during the rest of the year.
Tolerance. Kids sometimes live in homogeneous rather than diverse environments. If all the other kids are the same race, class and social status where you live, how will your child learn to be open-minded? Camp is a great place to immerse kids in diversity so tolerance can take root.
Assertiveness. When kids’ lives are scheduled from morning to night year-round, they miss out on opportunities to speak up for what they think, need and desire. Camp offers kids opportunities to practice healthy communication all day long because no one is smoothing the path before them.
Self-care. Kids can’t learn to take care of their needs unless they learn to pay attention to them. Going to camp puts self-care muscles to the test. Navigating a new environment with unfamiliar people helps kids learn to trust their intuition and honor their instincts.
Listening. Do you get weary of nagging and feel your child just doesn’t listen anymore? Kids can certainly develop listening fatigue with parents and other everyday authority figures. But after tuning in closely to some new-to-them camp leaders, they just might bring better listening abilities back home.
Playfulness. Got a perfectionist kid on your hands? Sometimes within the rush and rigors of daily life, families forget how to relax and enjoy life to the fullest. Camp is a great place to remember how to lighten up and enjoy the day.
Grit. This trendy term means the combination of courage and resolve. If your child does not bounce back quickly from disappointments, camp is a great place to learn tenacity, conflict resolution and problem-solving.
Christina Katz has written hundreds of articles and columns for publication since 1999.