Be it March Break or summer holidays, time off school means idle kids, and idle kids mean trouble. Keep them busy and happy by sending them to camp. Camp provides the same kind of structure as their school lives, while also giving them new experiences, introducing them to new skills and passions, and giving them the opportunity to make new like-minded friends.
We’ve already covered why you should send your kids to camp, so now we’ve asked the experts to tell us a little about how kids benefit from camp (aside from cutting down on screen time and keeping them busy).
Camp maintains their schedule
Maintaining a schedule is a great way to make the transition easier when the kids return to school. They might not like the idea of camp at first, because it means they can’t just hang around the house all day, but most kids end up having an amazing time.
Kristina from Avenue Road Arts said, “Maintaining a routine for your child is important, even over school breaks. It keeps their brains stimulated, encourages social interaction and fosters their creativity.”
If you’re not sure if camp is the right option, you can always just try it out for a short time. Joe from Double ‘00’ said, “Kids want time with parents and family. They also want time with friends and new adventures. There are plenty of camps that will offer single or two days programs, and it gives them something to look forward to.”
Maggie from Nike-Lytton Sports Camps added that camp is also a great way to help kids get ready for school. “Many camps also offer half-day options in case little ones aren’t ready to tackle a full day. This is a great way to use baby steps to help prepare them for the transition to school,” she said.
Camp provides social interaction and growth
School provides a ton of social situations for kids to navigate, but they are often with the same kids day in and day out. Camp puts kids in a situation where they can meet new people and make new friends. Maytal from The Second City said, “Becoming a part of a new community/group opens kids’ minds to the vast diversity of our city and teaches tolerance and empathy.”
Loretta from The Royal Conservatory School agreed, “Day camps provide an opportunity to interact with peers outside of school. This gives children a chance to get to know a fresh group of fellow campers, to try out new roles within a group, and to simply make new friends.”
Sending kids to a camp based on their interests will also allow them to connect with like-minded friends, which in turn helps them feel like they fit in. Melisa from TAC Sports said, “Camps allows children to connect with others with the same interests, meet new friends and allows them to grow and learn together.”
Not only will they enhance their social interaction, they will also discover their independence. “Everything from making new friends, to joining activities, even to eating snack without a parent, takes bravery,” said Maggie. “Camp provides an encouraging environment where kids get to decide what they like, and join in all on their own.”
Camp also offers challenges and new experiences, which is extremely beneficial in childhood development. Alysha from Mad Science explained, “Camp also offers children a chance to develop physically and emotionally, to gain social as well as problem-solving skills. Jumping into a brand new social environment at camp can be scary, but the confidence children develop by rising to the occasion is often remarkable. As children explore their independence, they also must engage in teamwork and co-operation with their fellow campers, making amazing memories and developing positive habits that last a lifetime.”
Camp offers learning experiences
“In a world where children can be over-programmed or zoned out in front of a screen, camp presents a valuable mix of enriching activities and good old-fashioned play,” said Alysha. “If you choose a specialty camp, it’s a great way to foster your child’s interest in a particular subject, developing their skills, growing their knowledge base, and sparking new ideas,” she concluded.
Pamela from U of T Math said that while camp is a great place for kids to make friends with similar interests and develop a new skill, “They may also discover a new area of interest they didn’t know they had.”
Learning a new skill is not only exciting, but also useful. Kids are much more likely to maintain a skill that is learned when they are young, making it a lifelong investment. And camp just might introduce them to their next (or even first) passion. “Camp has so many benefits it’s hard to name just a few,” Robyn from Adventure Valley said. “At the top of my list: kids build confidence and independence… and are often exposed to new experiences they do not get to enjoy on a regular basis.”
Camp helps kids grow their passion and confidence
In this category, everyone agreed. Camp helps kids build confidence and independence, while honing their skills and growing their passion.
Jennifer from Pawsitively Pets said, “Going to camp provides kids with life-long memories and new experiences. Camp sets the foundation to grow and become independent, it helps children to build confidence and new skills, unplug and explore new challenges.”
Jordan from Hatch Canada agreed, “Camp can have many benefits for kids as they can gain independence and confidence by being placed in new surroundings with new people who have similar interests.”
“However,” Maggie added, “Learning new skills can be a challenge.” That’s where counselors come in. They “help provide positive feedback and encouragement so that kids can build confidence while they build skill.”
Loretta summed it up by saying that at specialty camps, kids nurture their passions by focusing on “what they love for hours at a time.” She also said, “Children and youth develop their ability to recover, and learn, from their mistakes, and can quickly gain confidence… And of course, they have a lot of fun while learning.”
Now that you know the benefits of sending your kids to camp, read expert tips on how to find the right camp for your kids, or start browsing camps in our directory of Toronto Camps for Kids right now.
READ MORE LIKE THIS:
- Why Should You Send Your Kids to March Break Camp?
- How To Find the Right Camp for Your Kids: Tips From Camp Pros
- Tips for First-time Overnight Campers and Parents
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