What is the purpose of summer camp? What activities can be done in summer camp? What do you learn from summer camp?
It’s summer. The best time of the year to enjoy the outdoors, absorb the beauty of nature. Time to play, dance, explore, trek, travel, swim. It’s also the time to get active, get fit or get healthy. In other words its time for summer camp.
Summer camps are beneficial for all children. They help develop social, interpersonal, cognitive and emotional skills. They take learning beyond the classroom – provide an education that is more hands on and based on personal experience. It’s fun based learning while creating memories and experiences that last a lifetime.
There are a lot children can learn from summer camps. It is a relaxed environment where children can indulge in and develop new interests and hobbies. Learning is more discussion based and children are encouraged to express themselves freely, something that is not always possible within the school schedule with restrictions on time and curriculum. From physical activities to skills like carpentry or sewing, knitting or needlework, they can try their hand at anything that sparks their interest.
Summer camp activities include art and craft, painting, sketching, doodling, Calligraphy. Physical activities like dance or the hula hoops. Exposure to a musical instrument or reading, playing music or singing karaoke. DIY projects, card games or jigsaw puzzles. Contact sports like soccer, all kinds of racquetball sports, swimming, chess or martial arts. Children can be introduced to new languages and cultures, different foods and the origin of our food, or even a project on pets and their care. With so much to offer, summer camps help develop a child’s character and personality in numerous ways.
Make leaning Fun – Summer camps take the rigid element out of learning making it more fun and hands on. Children are encouraged to learn by exposing them to nature or conducting simple experiments while they play. Children too can tend to feel unmotivated by following the same routine day after day and interacting with the same people. Summer camps add a fresh perspective to their learning experience. Also, while parents often cannot create so much stimulus to interest a child, summer camps can offer a variety of options.
Learning beyond the curriculum – Children learn skills and activities that go beyond what they are expected to cover. They play games, can try their hand at various sports or learn to sing and dance. Activities that they might not have access to learn or the equipment to try their hand at. Often children who have been classified as bookish or sporty and have never tried anything different, can come across an activity that completely changes them. A voracious reader might enjoy the challenges posed by rock climbing or a long trek or a soccer player always bursting with energy might loose himself in making a super hero comic book.
Explore new interests and develop new hobbies – As children learn new concepts and skills they can develop new hobbies. Children who like craft can learn to work with their hands and experiment with different skills like carpentry or wood carving, knitting or embroidery and find one that they would like to pursue further. A child interested in colouring or painting or even a more developed skill like coding will have the time to indulge in the activity completely, which is often not possible in a school routine environment.
Acquire new physical or intellectual skills – summer camps allow children to develop their physical skills. They learn the basics, techniques and make new friends with children who play the same sports as them. This can often set the foundation for long lasting friendships based on a common healthy passion. Apart from physical skills, children also learn leadership skills and teamwork depending on the various activities that they are involved in.
Little or no risk of failure – Since the environment is relaxed and focussed on new activities, children can step out of their comfort zone and experiment with new experiences without the fear of failure. They need not fear being judged or ridiculed by their peers as everyone in summer camp is out to have fun and learn something new.
Connect to the environment – For younger children summer camps are an ideal way to connect with nature. All they need is a copy of Gerald Durrell’s ‘My Family and other Animals’ and they can spend all their time exploring and classifying different species. A fun read that can turn little minds into explorers or nature lovers. What better way to inspire awareness for our planet.
Encourage development of social skills and confidence – Meeting new people and children from different age groups also encourages a sense of confidence in young adolescents. They overcome the hesitation of engaging in conversation with people outside their families and learn public speaking and basic good manners. These simple skills and controlled exposure to an environment other than that provided by their schooling goes a long way instilling a sense of composure and self-confidence.
Needless to say, summer camps are fun. Children love them as they have so much to offer. Parents love them as they provide more than a basic education, they inspire creativity, intelligence and passion in little minds that can often lead to great accomplishments.