Summer is a unique time in a child’s life – a time to relax, make friends, and have fun! It’s also a time of adventure and trying new opportunities. Now that you have a teen you may be wondering if summer camp is still a good option for them. Have they grown out of summer camp? Of course, every kid is different, but the benefits for teens in summer camp are numerous.
If you’re looking for summer camp options in the Des Moines area, check out our Summer Camp Guide, full of traditional and specialty camp options for kids of all ages, stages and interests.
Here are some great benefits for teens attending summer camp:
Make New Friends
Friends are one of the most personal and lasting benefits of summer camp. Your teen will be living with, trying new activities with, getting over loneliness or anxiety with, and depending on other teens. These experiences often result in lifelong friends built on trust, happy memories, and reliance.
Your teen will rely less on adults and other people for solving problems and day-to-day activities at summer camp. They will be able to tackle new challenges on their own and come home with increased self-esteem.
Teamwork offers huge benefits for teens in summer camp. Tasks are assigned and expected to be done. Time in the kitchens, working with other kids, cleaning cabins, and putting away equipment are expected and relied upon. If your teen does not keep up their responsibilities, then they are not just letting down counselors but also their peers.
Become a New Person
One of the huge benefits for teens in summer camp is that they can, for a short period of time, reinvent themselves. A shy child can become outgoing and popular. A studious child can become active and energetic. It offers a true escape from responsibilities and expectations… a vacation from themselves.
Learn New Skills
Summer camp, by its nature, is full of new activities. By trying out new pursuits, such as crafts, archery, hiking, and drama, kids have a chance to build new skills and find new interests that they might never have explored before.
Opportunity to Unplug
Many summer camps, if not all, prohibit or limit the use of electronic devices that can distract teens from the full experience of camp. This is a great opportunity for teens to have real experiences with real people, experiencing real emotions and making real connections with the world.
Few environments help teens build more character and life skills than summer camp. Living on their own, away from parents and forced to find their own resources, campers gain a significant edge in the key areas of independence, responsibility and decision-making.
Appreciation for Nature
When teens attend summer camp and experience the great outdoors, they learn to respect, appreciate, and enjoy what nature has to offer and why it’s important to protect it. It helps them to develop an awareness of the importance of sustainability of the world’s natural resources.
Healthy Risk Taking
Camp is a place for safe, controlled risks and challenges. Rock climbing, wakeboarding, mountain climbing and other adrenaline inducing activities help teens seek out the excitement of risk-taking in a healthy, nondestructive way. Healthy risk-taking builds confidence, strengthens decision-making skills and most importantly, frees teens from exposure to negative risks.
Whether your child is attending a faith-based summer camp or is attending a nature camp focused on the great outdoors, summer camp can help your teen develop purpose and find meaning in life. Camp is a place for teens to step back from the normal routine and realize passion, life importance and a sense of self. The entire camp experience is a journey towards self-discovery and well-being.
Does your teen attend summer camp? If so, what benefits do they get from it?