It was at summer camp in the 1961 Disney movie The Parent Trap that Susan Evers and Sharon McKendrick, both roles played by actress Hayley Mills, discovered that they were identical twins, separated when they were young when their parents divorced.
Today, there is a summer camp for everyone. There are camps devoted to everything from robotics and crime scene investigations to history and art camps to musical theater and genealogy.
While your child may not make an earth-shattering discovery at summer camp as the twins in The Parent Trap did, they may discover other things. Here are eight things your kid may discover while attending camp.
1. They may discover new friends. We all know the drama kids often face during the school year when friendships sour, or a BFF decides to be best friends with another kid. There’s nothing like recharging your child’s social skills with meeting new kids at camp. Honing socials skills and developing friendships in different settings helps a child gain confidence.
2. They may discover independence. The goal of parenting is to raise well-adjusted, moral, and independent people. It can be hard to separate from parents for some children, and summer camp can help a boy or girl transition to being more independent.
3. They can discover a new skill or interest. Summer camp provides a fantastic opportunity for children to develop a skill or try something new. There are camps to suit every interest from scholastic-focused camps to sports and arts camps.
4. They can discover that there is life outside of screens. Studies say that the average child spends nearly eight hours a day in front of a screen. A camp in a nature setting allows children to reconnect with nature, get out in the fresh air and explore the beauty of the outdoors.
5. They can discover a whole new side of themselves. Most people tend to send their children to a camp with familiar areas of activities. Summer camp also provides an opportunity to step out of their comfort zone and possibly explore activities they may not have even knew existed. Maybe it’s time for your little soccer player to expand their horizons and try something like STEM camp.
6. They can discover the benefits of teamwork. Many activities at camp are group activities that involve cooperation and teamwork. This is a valuable skill that will benefit your camper throughout their life.
7. They can discover that they are a leader. Sometimes you are a follower and sometimes you are a leader in life. Summer camp provides a plethora of opportunities for your child to step out of the crowd and lead, whether it’s as team captain during a swim race or as the leader of a hike.
8. They may discover a new job or career. I know several children who when they were older became employees at the summer camp they attended when they were young. And who knows, your child may like summer camp so much, they may want to oversee one or develop one when they grow up.
Childhood is a time of discovery and summer camp provides the perfect opportunity for your child to explore the world in a fun, relaxing way.
CLICK HERE to view the 2023 Summer Camp Guide.
By Janice Lane Palko