This past year, kids’ lives have been turned upside down by COVID-19. They have been home learning remotely, not participating in extracurricular activities and have been disappointed by all the missed celebrations and milestones. There is no doubt that children need camp more than ever before this year and the good news is camps ran successfully last summer amid COVID. Here are just a few reasons why kids need camp this summer:
Independence – One of the greatest gifts camp provides is the opportunity for children to gain independence. After a year where children have mostly been home with their parents, they need it more than ever. Camp allows children to make some decisions on their own from how many times they want to go up to the salad bar for more to which elective activity to try. These are all small but important steps to becoming a capable and independent adult.
Mental Health – This pandemic has taken a toll on children’s mental health. The CDC released a report in the fall on how the pandemic is having an effect on children’s mental health. It states that some of the challenges children are experiencing are related to change of routine, break in continuity of learning, and missed life events. Camp provides a remedy by offering children a return to some sense of normalcy.
Break from Screens – With remote learning and the lack of sports and after school activities, kids have turned to their devices like never before. Camp is one of the last remaining places where personal technology is banned and where campers communicate face to face and not from behind a screen. Instead of screens, campers are swimming, playing basketball, learning archery or playing games in person with their friends.
Friendships – Kids haven’t been able to socialize with their friends in the same way due to COVID. Camp has always been an amazing place to make new friends and reconnect with old ones. After a year of way too many zoom birthday parties and communicating over social media, kids need to connect face-to-face with their peers.
Activities – Many kids haven’t participated in any organized activities this year, eliminating the opportunity to try new things or get exercise. Camp has numerous activities to try and coming off a year when many kids haven’t participated in any, the opportunity to safely participate in sports, swimming, and arts & crafts alongside friends feels more important than ever.
Structure – This has been a year without a lot of structure and routine. With some days at home for remote learning and other days in school, children’s daily routines have been disrupted. Camp provides a return to a daily routine and structure that children thrive on.
Rituals and traditions – After a year of missed holidays and traditions, camp will celebrate theirs like Camp Olympics, camp alma maters, nights around the camp fire and the raising and lowering of the flag each day. These traditions have special meaning within the camp community and something kids can look forward to, knowing they won’t be cancelled.