Kids camps have been around since the 1800s. Originally held in summer, it was believed camps equipped kids with challenging countryside experiences and developed them into decent American citizens.
Nowadays, the importance of summer camp is to improve emotional intelligence and physical fitness, along with peace of mind for parents during vacation. Whether it's sports camps, art camps, or even a sleepaway camp, here are 13 reasons you should send a kid to camp this summer break.
#1. Increase Self Esteem
Why is summer camp important? One of the greatest benefits of sending your child to summer camp is that they learn to overcome self-imposed limitations, inhibitions, and aversions. When children overcome challenges, their self-confidence grows.
And confidence begets positive self-esteem. Healthy self-esteem matters because it helps children develop coping skills, handle adversity, and put negative experiences into perspective.
When children value themselves and their abilities, they feel secure, worthy and cultivate positive relationships with others. They’re also more receptive to constructive feedback and open to acquiring and mastering new skills.
If you have ever asked, “Should I send my kid to summer camp”? we’d say that improving self-esteem is one of the best summer camp benefits besides building physical fitness.
#2. Exposure to New Sports and Skills
Not all kids can try archery or play on an obstacle course outside of camp. That’s why holiday camps are great places to learn new skills and try new physical activities they can’t do at home. Exploring different activities gives children a greater chance of finding something they excel in or that makes them happy.
At the same time, they’re having fun exploring their new interests and increasing their capacities for learning, teamwork, problem-solving, knowledge, and self-awareness, which are the other psychological benefits of summer camp. Trying new things also produces new brain cells critical to your child's development and directly results from challenging the mind.
#3. Increase Independence
When you send a kid to a camp, they spend some time away from their parents and develop a sense of identity.
The benefits of summer camp for youth is that it forces kids to make choices outside their parent’s supervision, which helps them improve their independent thought process and encourages them to carefully consider the consequences of their actions, building self-reliance and autonomy.
They gain the confidence to tackle larger life challenges by accomplishing small tasks in a camp environment. And the more they learn, the more they desire to do things themselves. Attending summer, winter, and spring camps gives them a chance to experience new things and learn independently, which helps them evolve into healthy adults.
#4. Focus on Non-academic Achievements
One of the reasons to send your kid to summer camp is that it removes the academic, athletic, and social competition that shapes their lives at school. While healthy competition can teach kids the value of hard work and self-efficacy, too much can be detrimental to mental health and discourage any deviation from activities that don’t bring success.
Instead, children can learn and play without fear of failure. Spontaneous play in a controlled and safe environment helps them develop creative thinking skills and explore their imagination. Ironically, play has also been linked to increased literacy skills and other areas of academic achievement because it improves memory, oral language, and self-regulation.
#5. Grow as a Leader
When you send a kid to a camp program, you’re placing them outside their comfort zone and providing a catalyst for developing leadership skills. The importance of Summer camps, like the ones at Hot Ground Gym, often intentionally integrate leadership opportunities into their programs. Camps enhance children’s natural skills and help them work on weaknesses.
Many children attending summer camp graduate through our program and become assistant facilitators or camp counselors. Through our team-building activities and physical challenges, they learn how to follow someone’s lead and build the confidence to lead others. The psychological benefits of summer camp include insight into social norms and enhanced social cohesion.
#6. Social Skills Development
According to the Harvard Graduate School of Education, a summer camp experience aids social-emotional learning, self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. These skills are crucial for success in school and later professional life, but due to time constraints don’t get explicitly taught in curriculums.
The benefits of camps for kids are that they’re not connected to school and can focus on training kids to become more independent, socially aware, and reflective. The American Camp Association (ACA) study found significant growth in children’s emotional skills as they developed leadership, decision-making, and friendship skills during camp sessions.
#7. Make New Memories
The American Camp Association (ACA) estimates that more than 11 million children attend camps yearly, making new friends and wonderful summer camp memories. When the same kids attend annual camps together, they develop life-long friendships, which is another one of the many benefits of sending kids to a camp.
What’s more, the American Psychological Association conferred that adults with happy childhood memories tend to have better health, less depression, and fewer chronic illnesses than older adults. Pleasant memories safeguard mental health and reduce stress, fostering a more positive life outlook. It also plays a role in how children make sense of the world, guiding their future decision-making.
#8. Exposure to Diversity
Sending kids to a camp helps them learn about diversity and inclusion. At camp, they’ll meet children and camp staff from different backgrounds, broadening their horizons and enriching their life experiences. The Century Foundation found that diversity produces more productive, effective, and creative teams at school and in the workforce.
When children interact with different people, they are encouraged to work with new viewpoints and work towards reaching a group consensus. They’re better prepared to work in multicultural environments and report less anxiety when confronted with culturally different groups.
In fact, children exposed to diversity from young ages tend to have higher levels of empathy, as they’re more aware of the experience someone of another race or cultural group may face.
#9. Promote Healthiness
Summer camp food choices and physical activity helps kids stay healthy and fit. Camp programs typically combine fine motor skills and sports-based activities to keep bodies and minds healthy. Instead of kids sitting in front of the TV or playing on their phones, camps let them be kids, meaning they get to play with others, stomp, jump, and run about.
Schedules at camp also help stick to a routine during holiday periods, so transitioning back to school is less stressful. And, of course, they alleviate parental stress, allowing kids to maintain a healthy lifestyle if their parents need to work or want to keep them entertained outside the home.
#10. Build Positive Habits
Why send kids to a summer camp? Camps are a whole-body experience, providing opportunities for children to make independent choices in an environment designed to celebrate active, healthy living. With a focus on mental and physical health, children learn to cultivate a positive attitude through positive reinforcement, even when faced with challenging obstacles.
A landmark study by the National Institute of Health (NHI) found that children who spent more than two hours daily on screen-time activities scored lower in language and thinking tests. Attending a camp eliminates the need to entertain kids with screens and allows them to engage in healthier mental and physical development activities.
#11. Build Resilience
Having resilience is a crucial life skill, as it allows an individual to get back up and keep going despite any setbacks. It is one of the reasons to send your kid to summer camp. Hot Ground Gym is the perfect place for kids to experience and practice this skill, as they are presented with plenty of challenges through our camp community.
They may not win their first relay, but they will become a better player through practice and dedication. The same applies to the climbing tower: they may not reach the top the first time, but if they keep trying, they will eventually make it and feel more confident and resilient than before.
Camp also teaches the importance of effort. It helps children become more self-reliant and determined while providing positive coping mechanisms and a strong network of friends.
Kids' summer camps are great for relaxation! Summer camps provide a break from the monotony of everyday life and the stresses associated with school, work, and other commitments. They offer a safe environment to let go and have fun. Kids also have the opportunity to explore their interests without fearing judgment or criticism. This can help them to feel comfortable and relaxed.
#13. Develop Environmental Awareness
Summer camp is an essential platform for the development of environmental awareness. Another one of the benefits of sending kids to summer camp is they can better understand the environment and their role in preserving it through activities in the great outdoors, such as nature hikes, outdoor exploration, and ecological stewardship.
Campers can learn about the importance of protecting wildlife and preserving open spaces by exploring natural habitats. By engaging in outdoor activities, campers can develop an appreciation for the finite resources available to them and learn about the importance of sustainability and reducing our environmental impact.
Convincing parents to send kids to summer camps usually isn’t difficult, considering all the benefits. If you’re looking for a holiday camp for your own kids, why not try Hot Ground Gym? Our camps are designed to engage kids physically and mentally and stimulate their character in a super unique and fun environment. Find out more about our summer, winter, spring, and no-school camps by reaching out to us today!