Are you considering sending your child to camp this summer but questioning the value in a traditional summer camp? Here are just five of the reasons your child needs camp.
- Unplug from technology – According to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey of young people, children spend 7.5 hours a day engaged in electronic media including cell phones, computers, TV and video games. Instead of engaging in human interactions, children are staring at screens throughout the year. The majority of summer camps have a no technology rule which will allow your child to take a much needed break from media and focus on building relationships, having face-to-face interactions and engaging in activities.
- Children build confidence – At camp, children gain confidence by learning new skills, making their own choices, trying something new, making new friends and by being part of a community which is supportive and encouraging.
- Children gain life skills needed to become successful adults - The Partnership for 21st Century Skills, a group of businesses, education leaders, and policymakers including the U.S Department of Education, AOL Time Warner Foundation, Apple Computer, Inc., Cisco Systems, Inc. and others, found there is a large gap between the knowledge students learn in school and the skills they need to be successful in the 21st century. They performed extensive research on the skills needed to become successful adults in life and work in the 21st century and many of the essential skills needed for success are all fostered at camp and include oral communication, collaboration, work ethic, creativity, leadership, social skills, problem solving and critical thinking.
- Play is known to help children in their social and emotional development -Today’s children are very busy with homework and afterschool activities and there isn’t much time for play. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) reports that free and unstructured play is healthy and essential for helping children to reach important social, emotional, and cognitive developmental milestones as well as helping them manage stress. Traditional summer camps give children plenty of opportunities to play which leads to healthy emotional and social development.
- Gain self-reliance – Many children today are in constant contact with their parents through cell phone calls and texts. Camp allows children a healthy separation which fosters independence. Children need to learn how to rely on themselves and make their own decisions in order to become self-reliant adults.
Families looking for a summer camp can contact Renee Flax at the American Camp Association, NY and NJ for free, one-on-one advice in finding the right camp for their child. Call 212.391.5208 or visit www.acanynj.org