With hundreds of camps to choose from each summer, Mighty Mommy offers 5 ways that you and your child can gain a positive experience from participating in camp.
The fun times at camp draw people together through singing, swimming, hiking, roasting marshmallows over a campfire, and telling stories late into the night in their cabins or dorm rooms. They’ll be away from screens for more hours than they have been in a long time. Without that mediation, kids will experience social interactions differently. When kids leave the screens behind, they can see the value in differing opinions, resolve conflict, and learn to communicate better. Be prepared to see a lot of happy campers when you pick your child up at the end of a camp getaway!
Camp Instills an Appreciation for Nature
I was a stay-at-home mom (still not crazy about that expression) for my first 12 years of motherhood, and the one thing that helped saved my sanity were the many jaunts my kids and I took to the park playground, beach, and anyplace else that Mother Nature had a hand in orchestrating.
Camp helps to eliminate distractions and improve focus by bringing kids into the great outdoors—sometimes for the first time.
Having an appreciation and respect for nature is an invaluable quality. Kids tend to be drawn to the great outdoors because there are so many adventures to take in and explore. In this day and age, however, more and more kids tend to be drawn to their electronic devices and the comfort of their living room couch rather than frolicking in their backyard or helping to care for a family garden or search for never-ending hiking trails.
Camp activities often bring kids into nature to help them get a better sense of the world outside of their typical environment. Camp helps to eliminate distractions and improve focus by bringing kids into the great outdoors—sometimes for the first time.
In these situations, kids not only experience all the beauty nature has to offer but also learn how to respect nature. I always found that when my kids returned from a camping trip, they wanted the magic of being outdoors 24/7 to continue, and they didn’t congregate in the house nearly as often for weeks afterwards. Even day camps can have this effect on kids, so if away camp isn’t in the cards, your family can still gain many of the same benefits.
Camp Gives the Entire Family Joyful Space
Despite the fact that I’ve had a very full house for the past 20 years, it’s never easy for me to drop a kid off at summer camp for a week or two. Just having one kid out of eight gone for a period of time changes the entire dynamics of our family unit. That said, however, I’m definitely an advocate for encouraging personal growth space for child and parents, and summer camp is a great way to do this because both sides learn to have time away from one another, which definitely allows for creating some independence and even better, appreciation for one another when we’re separated for a short period of time.
When our kids are away from us, we can think our own thoughts, spend some well-deserved “me” time, take a temporary break from the grind of running kid errands, eat anything we choose for dinner, sleep in, wear our PJs all day, and never leave the house if we so choose. We get to refuel our tanks and at the same time, our kids can have some breathing space from the constant rules and reminders that they get 24/7 from good old mom or dad. Basically, it’s refreshing and healthy for all involved to have some time apart.
And when you do pick them up from being away for a while, the reunion is grand. You have a new sense of appreciation for one another and get to catch up and listen to all the amazing stories your child will have while she’s been off on her own!
How has camp impacted your family? Share your thoughts in the comments section at quickanddirtytips.com/mighty-mommy, post your ideas on the Mighty Mommy Facebook page. or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit my family-friendly boards at Pinterest.com/MightyMommyQDT
Image of kids at summer camp © Shutterstock