Has your child been asking you if they can go to camp this summer? Maybe they have friends going to the camp and want to joint them, or perhaps they just want to have new adventures and make new friends. You may initially be turned off by the cost of such a camp, but if you can manage to swing it financially, camp is an excellent investment in your child's future. Here are three benefits of sending your child to camp.
1. Kids learn independence.
At home, you probably help your child pick out their clothes, wash dishes, and get up on time. Eventually, they will have to do this all on their own without your help. Camp can give them a small sampling of this increased responsibility, but in a safe and secure environment. At overnight camps, kids will often be responsible for getting themselves up on time, helping to prepare meals, dressing themselves for the day, and so forth.
(If your child is not ready to stay overnight away from home, there are plenty of day camps where you can drop them off in the morning and pick them up at night. They will still learn responsibility through daytime camp activities!)
2. Kids learn to make friends in a different setting.
Your child is probably well adapted to making friends at school, but the school setting is a unique one where kids are highly supervised, have a set schedule, and spend most of the day with the same people. At camp, the setting is more relaxed. Kids have the chance to get to know one another in a more open, relaxed setting. Making friends in this manner will help improve your child's social skills so they can more effectively make friends in the future when they head off to college and start jobs.
3. Kids get to explore new hobbies and career options.
There are a lot of careers and hobbies to which kids are never exposed in school. Horseback riding, hiking, and nature preservation are all interesting fields that offer opportunities for future employment or even just lifelong happiness. Your child will be exposed to these interests during camp. Who knows -- they could discover a lifelong passion or meet someone who gives them a job one day. Many kids who attend camp even end up working at camps later when they are teens or in college. This is a great summer job!