More Than Just Summer Camp

Elizabeth Chenok, Managing Editor

Wish. Wonder. Surprise. Glitter. Singing. Campfires. Friendships. Laughter. Swimming. Opening up. Seeing your possibilities. These are things summer camp has to offer. Whether it be specialized or classic, summer camp provides children with a great experience. Not only does camp provide a positive atmosphere to play with and meet new people, it is a place for growth and self-discovery.

Summer camp offers activities not available to the majority of kids in an urban or semi-urban environment. Children can try things they did not even know existed, which can transform someone’s path and expand their interests. Where else can someone safely learn to shoot a bow and arrow or ride a horse?

There aren’t opportunities every day at school to learn aerial silks or spend an hour meditating by a creek. Some schools do not have the resources for ceramics or painting, drama or band. Camp offers all of these things and more. Children can tie-dye a shirt they will wear for years to come; they can laugh for an hour in an improv class and smile about it months later.

Another incredible aspect of summer camp is the friendships and bonds that are created there. At one point or another in a person’s life, he or she will be put in a new situation with unfamiliar people and will have to make new connections. This prepares them for future endeavors such as college or the workplace. Camp is the perfect place for character development starting at a young age. Growing up with friends from various different communities positively sparks a huge network of friends.

Friendships at camp are different and special; there is not the social pressure of reputations that is held at home. Camp is a new place to be whoever you want to be. There are no distractions, such as technology and worries from home, to hold someone back. These bonds are created very quickly, especially when living in a close-knit community.

Summer camp opens up incredible opportunities for self-growth and leadership among peers. Opportunities to help friends learn new skills, bond with the younger campers, and lead by example are everywhere. This provides a place to learn leadership styles and to work productively with a group of people. The teamwork environment helps develop skills that will be useful in adult life; work, school, and relationships all require skills that can be acquired at summer camp.

Where else in the world is a child emmersed in nature with counselors who act as their leaders and role models? Campers are fully living in the woods, a significant aspect of summer camp that the campers don’t get anywhere else.

Summer camp benefits children and, if presented with the choice to go, everyone should, as it is a unique and unforgettable experience.

The lessons learned, friendships created, character developed, and discoveries made have the undeniable opportunity to impact children’s lives in a way most experiences cannot.