Every summer kids everywhere (and parents) start whistling a similar little diddy when summer camp begins because they look forward to the time off from school and some time to enjoy the hot weather!
But summer camp is not just a place to send kids while school is out. Choose the right camp and it can also be a phenomenal educational experience for children.
"Summer camp programs can help your children test their boundaries socially, physically, mentally and emotionally, says Claire Haas, a working mother and the vice president for education at Kiddie Academy. "The more relaxed atmosphere of a summer program helps open children up to new experiences. The right program can help a child develop leadership skills and a sense of independence, which are important building blocks for future academic and personal success."
Ed McMasters, a Kentucky father of two, sends his children to summer camp and says he's recognized the following benefits of attending camp in his own children. He says they:
- have something to look forward to each summer;
- meet and make new friends;
- get to experience diverse backgrounds and cultures of kids that attend camp;
- learn a sense of independence;
- consider the completed week as an achievement; and
- have some serious talking topics for the rest of the summer
Summer camp gives kids the opportunity to try something new, according to Haas. "It gives children a chance to explore their abilities and learn new skills," she says. "Camp can even allow your child to sample a new hobby before committing to six months of dance, music or martial arts lessons."