Kids camps have been around since the 1800s. Originally held in summer, it was believed that to send a child to camp was to equip them with challenging experiences presented by the countryside and develop them into decent American citizens. Nowadays, camps are a welcome change from a life filled with screens. Improving emotional intelligence and physical fitness are some widely acknowledged benefits of sending a kid to camp, along with providing peace of mind for parents during vacation.
#1 Increase Self Esteem
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 confidence grows. And confidence begets positive self-esteem. Having 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 the number motivating factor beyond building physical fitness.
#2 Exposure to New Sports and Skills
Kids won’t always have the opportunity to 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 things 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, they’re also increasing their capacities for learning, teamwork, problem-solving, knowledge, and self-awareness. Trying new things also produces new brain cells that are not only critical for brain health but also a direct result of challenging the mind.
#3 Increased Independence
When you send a kid to a camp, they spend some time away from their parents and develop a sense of identity. They are forced 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.
By accomplishing small tasks, they gain the confidence to tackle larger life challenges. And the more they learn, the more they desire to do things for themselves. Attending summer, winter, and spring camps gives them the 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 have a chance to 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, the 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 Social Skills Development
According to Harvard Graduate School of Education, camps aid 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.
#6 Exposure to Diversity
Sending kids to a camp helps them learn about diversity and inclusion. At camp, they’ll meet children and instructors 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 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.
#7 Positive Habits
#8 Makes New Memories
The American Camp Association (ACA) estimates that more than 11 million children attend camps every year, making new friends and wonderful 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.
#9 Growing 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. 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 of the children who attend our camps graduate through our program and become assistant facilitators. Through our team-building activities and physical challenges, they learn how to follow someone’s lead and build the confidence to lead others. Being surrounded by peers provides insight into social norms and enhances social cohesion.
#10 Promoting Healthiness
The food choices and activities at summer camp help 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 in sticking 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 just want to keep them entertained outside of the home.
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 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 to us today!