As a child I loved going to summer camp. It was so much fun to laugh in the water with my friends and soak up the summer sun (with sunscreen of course, though I’m pretty sure back in the 80s we didn’t worry about it as much as we should’ve.) I love singing camp songs, eating out on the front lawn for Saturday dinners and donning white clothes on Sundays.
I knew as soon as I was pregnant with my daughter that I wanted her to experience the same wonderful summers that I did and now she does. She loves her camp time. Here are three reasons why it’s almost more important for kids to experience traditional summer camp now, than in the 80s.
#3 Decompression: School is hard these days! The expectations are hard. Students are thinking about college choices in 7th grade rather than in 11th grade when I went to school. My son just finished 7th grade and has already taken HS Algebra and HS Geometry. I think children need a break in the summer to decompress!
#2 Good Values: Things are different today. There are so many violent shows and cursing in TV shows (which I do try to avoid, but sometimes you think a show is good and there goes the cursing or sexual innuendos). Cursing in the schools, and so many sad events like mass shootings, etc. Camp takes children away from all of this and instills those great values of honesty, friendly competition and more.
#1 UNPLUGGED!!!!: This is my favorite one. At the summer camp my daughter went to, she could not use any technology like iPhones, iPads, iPods or computers. Yes, I limit my daughters daily use on a normal day to day basis, but to be completely unplugged helps her to see that it’s not worth it during the rest of the year. She can see all of the skills she could learn if she’s not checking who liked her post on FB or who posted a picture of their latest outfit on Instagram.
I have to admit, all camps are NOT created equally. Luckily, she is going to the camp I went to as a child. The camp has the same owner and director, so I know she’s safe. This is where you, as a parent, need to do your work and research different camps to find the best fit for you! Make sure they properly screen the counselors and that they have a nice variety of activities for the campers. Look for a camp that is unplugged as I really believe this is one of the best things about the camp my daughter went to!
Here’s a picture I made/took for my daughter of her dog and mailed it to her at camp. I made it to look kind of rough on purpose to make her laugh. She really enjoyed received mail at camp (not email, but a good old fashioned handwritten letter!!)