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13 Amazing Benefits of Summer Camps For Kids

Each and every year, more than 14 million children across the United States attend summer camp. All of them are going to have an opportunity to create lifelong memories and lifelong friends that they wouldn’t have had a chance to create otherwise.

Summer camps provide children with life lessons, new skills, adventures, and a chance to unlock their creativity. Camp activities are collaborative by nature, and establish an ability for children to communicate with others in a way that few environments can.

Parents on the fence about whether or not they should send their children off to summer camp, should be aware of all the benefits of summer camp and the youth development that happens because of them.

summer camp benefits

Top 13 Benefits of Summer Camp

Promotes Independence

Think your children are independent? The ultimate test is allowing them to spend some time away from you in a safe environment.

Summer camp offers an all-around secure yet freeing atmosphere for your kids to be completely and utterly themselves. They'll learn essential time management skills that boost independence and prepare them for everything life has to offer.

Building independence is a crucial life skill that will ensure they feel in control of situations, make friends easily, and expertly deal with anger and other negative emotions.

Camp gives children an opportunity to truly understand positive thoughts and everything that goes into making a great choice. In turn, this will develop their sense of self alongside learning that they can turn to their friends for support when needed.

Prevents Summer Learning Loss

Summer learning loss isn't a term you hear every day but its important to know about. Studies have shown that during the summer break or any extended period where students stop learning, children can forget knowledge they've worked hard to earn.This can cause children to fall behind in class and struggle to keep pace with those around them when school starts back up.

However, sending your kids to camp keeps their brains engaged enough to prevent this phenomenon. To give you a better understanding, here are just a few ways that summer camp stops learning loss:

  • Camps provide varied instructional methods — Each child is taught in their preferred learning style to aid memory and improve academic skills.
  • Camps allow children to put their academic skills to the test in the real world.
  • Camp activities allow problem-solving skills to develop.

Teaches Teamwork

At overnight camp, children can learn about teamwork through physical activities like team sports as well as mental activities that provide mental stimulation. Kids are encouraged to face challenges and solve them as a group. 

Campers are often separated into groups which not only helps with social development but also teaches them how to work and coordinate with others. Personal growth is an important part of summer camp and there is no better way to grow than with others.  

kids teamwork


Teaches Campers New Skills

Granted, some schools and educational institutions offer alternative activities that help your children improve their skills. However, summer camp is a whole new ball game.

There are so many opportunities for your kids to experience something brand new at camp. Whether they want to have a go at coding, try a new sport, or play some board games, new and exciting skills are developed and honed throughout their stay.

The beauty of attending summer camp is that everyone is in the same boat! There is no fear of failure thanks to the encouraging, motivating, and inspiring atmosphere that both campers and supervisors foster.

Children at overnight camps also learn how to navigate the woods and wilderness areas of our world more effectively and safely with the help of experienced camp directors.

They pick up skills that allow them and encourage them to do more adventuring and exploring on their own. It's also a great skill for them to teach their friends back home and grow closer to the outdoors. 

Your kids will quickly find out that getting out of their comfort zone and trying something new is a fantastic (and super fun) thing!

Builds Resilience

The general population believes that resilient people have special, rare properties that have allowed them to overcome difficulties. But this just isn't the case. Countless research studies on development, neuropsychology, and more have determined that resilience depends on the child's environment, parental guidance, and other external factors.

Unlike schools, summer camps don't take a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, the supervisors adapt to your children's needs and have a proper understanding of the things necessary to build resilience.

At camp, your kids will receive the seven fundamental experiences that improve resilience and turn them into well-rounded individuals. These are as follows:

  1. Meeting new people and make friends
  2. Grow their sense of self and identity
  3. Feel in control of their choices and lives
  4. Be treated fairly
  5. Have everything they need to develop physically
  6. A feeling of belonging
  7. Learning more about their culture and different cultures

Helps Build Social Skills 

kids socializing

In our hyper-connected modern world, it’s easy to see just how much of an impact “screen time” is having on our interpersonal relationships, on our ability to communicate in person, and even in our ability to establish real friendships with like-minded people.

Give your children an opportunity to “unplug” and spend a summer learning new social skills at camp. The camp experience provides opportunities to children for interacting with different kinds of people from all over the country, and mastering how to communicate and to collaborate with them. 

Summer camp is very much a “crash course” on meeting new people. While it might be a bit nerve-racking at first, it's something that has shown time and time again to be a great way to help kids grow into being stronger. As well as more independent, and more effective leaders moving forward.

Helps Build Confidence

Self confidence is one of the most important life skills to have. Camp provides ways to become more self confident in our own skills by being challenged with new obstacles that can also increase our problem solving skills. The camp experience provides scenarios we never would have expected to be able to navigate before and then to come out on top building up self esteem.

Too often the young people in our modern world are “bubble-wrapped” in a way that just didn’t happen when we were younger. They aren’t exposed to challenges as frequently as they would have been in the past. They aren’t given obstacles to overcome and new skills to do so as often as they would have in the past. They also aren’t pushed to grow and learn. The opportunity to do all this and gaining self confidence is one of the top benefits of summer camp.

Exposes Children To Different Things

It isn’t hard for kids these days to fall into a summertime rut. To do the same kinds of things over and over again day after day once the school season is over and the summer break begins.

Summer camp experiences, however, greatly expand the lives of children and expose them to new adventures, new viewpoints, and new challenges and obstacles they’ll learn how to overcome – all things that are going to greatly enrich and improve the lives of children from that summer on. In a camp community everyone is equal and is part of the same team.

They can also participate in new summer camp activities that they otherwise would have never participated in before. This includes things like horseback riding, sailing, archery, and much more. They might just find a new favorite sport or game.

Kids Make New Friends

kids making friends

Depending on how popular the camp is, kids can come from all walks of life and the world. Diversity is an important concept that kids often get to experience at camp. They can make new friends with people they might not have otherwise ever met. 

Since most camps follow a daily routine, you're child will often interact with the same people. This is a way for them to develop strong bonds with others during the summer months. It's also not uncommon for kids to attend the same camp each year, which only provides more opportunities to grow closer with their new friend group. 

Motivates Campers To Become A Better Version Of Themselves

At summer camp children are going to be kept safe from real dangers and real risks but also exposed to situations that challenge them physically and mentally. The camp experience will encourage them to push past their preconceived boundaries and shortcomings. All while it gives them the skills they need to face obstacles head-on. In the end they will be more confident, self-assured, and better prepared to face everything life throws at them with a higher self-esteem and problem solving skills.

Summer camp does a wonderful job of teaching children that it’s okay to fail, it’s okay to come up short, and it’s okay for things to fall apart. It also teaches them it's not okay to give up, it’s not okay to throw the towel in, and it’s not okay to give any less than 100% of what you’re capable of.

Immersion in Nature

So much of what our children do these days happens indoors, inside of air-conditioned and climate-controlled environments. We are more disconnected today than ever before from the natural world around us.

The summer camp experience encourages children to get out into the natural world more and to immerse themselves in it all while doing more physical activity. It teaches children to appreciate everything that the outdoors brings to the table.

All of this time outdoors, in the wind, in the sun, and in the water is like chicken soup for the soul. It fills children up with good health and great energy, excites them about learning more about the natural world around them. Summer camps give them every opportunity to create connections and relationships with the natural environment.

Helps Disconnect from Technology 

The odds are good that a sleep-away summer camp isn’t going to cause your child to unplug from modern devices entirely. However, you might be shocked at just how much time your child wants to spend outdoors adventuring when they get back. 

At the end of the day, there are a lot of benefits that summer camp brings to the table. Your child’s life will expand and be enriched by the experience, they’ll develop new friendships and gain new life skills. They’ll learn different things, create lifelong memories, and they’ll return home at the end of summer walking a little taller. The youth development that occur at camps can't be found anywhere else. 

Promotes Healthiness

The activities, social aspects, and food choices available at summer camp reinforce the importance of staying healthy, keeping fit, and eating a balanced meal. While some activities are stagnant, working academic or fine motor skills, many are sports-based and full of movement. Ultimately working to keep your kids' bodies and minds healthy.

Moreover, summer camp provides a routine and structure that promotes healthiness. This allows them to stay regulated, eat at the appropriate times, and adjust back to school life easily when vacation ends.

Camp supervisors and volunteers are there to support your children through creating balanced meals, finding exercises they enjoy, and so much more. The result? A child/teen who has a positive relationship with food and fitness.

The upside of going away to summer camp is almost immeasurable. Read our tips page to better prepare them for camp. The only trick now is finding the right summer camp for them to attend.