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Why We Love Summer Camp (And What Your Kid Can Gain!)

By Sam McDade-Wray, Highlands Ranch-Parker-Castle Rock-Lone Tree Publisher March 1, 2021
Summer will be here before you know it and the hunt is already on to find some fun, interesting ways to spend that time off. We always look forward to summer since we travel back to the South to see family and friends. We love to get that beach and ocean fix since we are surrounded by mountains most of the year.

Another key part of summer for us is the summer camp experience in whatever form that might take. Whether it is overnight camp, a day camp, or a create-your-own camp experience with the cooperation of a few other parents, summer camp is a time for kids to explore, learn, and find out more about themselves and the world around them. These experiences will provide lessons and memories that will last a lifetime.

Here are a few things that kids gain from camp:

They can learn something new! Kids are natural learners. By exposure to new ideas like horseback riding, rock climbing, robotics, magic or even a new way to learn math, they can expand their horizons.

Success at something develops self-confidence. Not every kid is a star athlete or the perfect student, but at summer camp, kids can really thrive by doing something they are good at. Learning how to work as a team and how to be a good leader and follower builds self-esteem too.

How much fun being physically active can be! After being in a classroom for 8 hours a day, kids are reminded how much their bodies need that outlet to use their energy! Time outdoors and physical exercise have been shown to reduce stress and increase attention span. Let’s hear it for the benefits of the adrenaline rush and relaxation and calm that comes with activity too!

Self-discovery and responsibility is cool. Summer camps are great places for kids to learn about who they are and what they are capable of. From picking what activity you would like to participate in to keeping up with your own belongings, kids can learn to become independent and self-reliant in a safe environment.

Which Summer Camp is the Best Fit for Your Kid?
Start by thinking about what your kid enjoys and might like to learn or experience. Look over the options in our Summer Camp Guide. Getting your kid involved in the decision making is key to a successful experience. Is this your kid’s first camp? Might a friend ease the transition? Reach out to the parents of your child’s friends to see if they are looking at camp options too. With any camp, consider staff-to-kid ratio, safety precautions (e.g., are the counselors CPR certified?), location, activities, and what the camp's rescheduling or cancellation policies are.

Our list has lots of options for you and your kids to find just what you are looking for this summer! Click the "More Info" link on any listing to see all the details, including dates, pricing, and customer reviews.

If a camp program is not within your family’s budget or schedule, consider working with other families with similar interests and kids of the same age to create your own summer camp; parents can each take a day and plan activities for the kids! As a parent of an only child, I have been known to do a bit of that myself!