The importance of Summer Camp in kids’ lives is a big discussion in the parent world these days. With today’s current focus on technology and academics kids aren’t getting the physical and outside experiences they used to.
Camp Unalayee has been promoting the ideas of building community, experiencing the outdoors and nature, and developing skills since it was founded in 1949, so we are more than behind this movement to get kids to summer camp and back outside!
In Parents’ Press 2012 Summer Camp issue Heather Larson wrote this about how much kids need camp:
Kids need camp now more than ever. That’s the sentiment of Peg Smith CEO of the American Camp Association, or ACA. “We’ve been so concentrated on the brain, we forget about the rest of our bodies and our children’s,” says Smith.
Because of the focus on academics, there are children who don’t get any exercise, which has resulted in a unacceptable childhood obesity rate, says Smith. When children stay inside, which they tend to do, they don’t experience their neighborhoods – or their community. They may not even know their next-door neighbor’s name.
One way to at least partially remedy these problems is to expose children to the summer camp experience. Camps not only build character and help kids develop skills, but they also show kids how to live and play together. They give kids a chance to experience the outdoors and nature.
“Camp has a lasting impact,” says Smith.
Kids talk about what they did at camp and remember what was important to them. Having fun may look like frivolous play, but it helps kids learn, grow, be productive, creative and happy.
Want more? There are tons of articles and blogs out there on the current problems of Nature Deficit Disorder and Childhood Obesity and how Summer Camps are trying to fight these problems. Start with this article from the ACA’s Camping Magazine: Camp Directors’ Beliefs Regarding Nature-Deficit Disorder and Camp