The benefits of summer camp are multifaceted. Summer camps, especially summer nature camps, are incredibly beneficial for kids.
When children go off to camp, they build lasting friendships and learn new skills. On top of that, kids can develop essential life skills. These skills and talents can be crucial as your kids grow into adults.
More than just a place to spend the hours between school sessions, summer nature camps afford your kids with many opportunities to increase crucially essential life skills. At Twin Cities Kids Club, we are huge fans of summer camp.
Let’s go over a few of the reasons why we love them so much-
Learning Life Skills
For modern kids, there is a considerable gap between the skills and knowledge to be discovered in the classroom and the skills and knowledge they need to be successful adults. A few of these skills and attributes include-
The best thing about summer camp is that your kids are learning and growing these skills, and they usually don’t even realize it’s happening.
While at camps, kids need to communicate with other campers and camp counselors. They are also often faced with situations that require them to step into a leadership role.
Campers are also forced to navigate the social waters of their camp on their own. They also must solve any problems that arise with little or no adult input.
Most camps provide campers with various creative outlets. Campers can participate in art, music, cooking, and other creative activities.
Real-Life Education for the Whole Child
Any teacher will tell you that there is more to education than good grades and test-taking. At camp, your child will benefit from a robust social education.
Your child will try new activities and face new challenges. Every success your child experiences will help to build his or her self-esteem.
Through these challenges, your child will also build social and problem-solving skills that they will need to become successful pieces of their future communities and work environments. Each day at camp is a new opportunity for your child to learn and grow.
Unplug for Technology
According to NPR, children under 8 spend an average of 2 and a half hours a day in front of a screen. This means that children are spending less time outdoors and less time socializing than their parents before them.
Many summer camps employ a zero technology policy. This typically includes-
Nature camps provide your kids with a valuable opportunity to unplug from the web and go off the grid for a few hours a day.
Valuable Social and Emotional Development Time
Most parents and kids don’t truly understand the importance of playtime for a child’s development. Modern families are so busy juggling school, homework, family time, and extracurricular activities that time to play falls by the wayside.
Children need time to play, free and unobstructed, in order to develop into healthy and well-adjusted adults. Summer camps, and especially summer nature camps, provide children with ample outdoor playtime.
This time to play can help children learn to manage stress, develop healthy emotional outlets, and provide chances for social development.
The Chance for Reinvention
Most children spend school year after school year with the same bunch of kids. Inevitably, this repetition leads to the formation of cliques. Your child will often be forced to live with the “label” given to him or her by his or her peers.
Because of this, many children feel stuck in a role that may not fit. They may believe they need to be severe and studious when they really want to be loud and outgoing.
Summer camps can provide your child with a chance to break out of their shell. They will be able to break the mold they are forced to live in and try out different facets of their personalities.
They will be able to build confidence while trying out new and fun experiences.
Camps Promote Independence…
Summer camps, especially sleepover summer camps, are an excellent opportunity for your child to foster his or her sense of independence. The loose structure of the camp inevitably leads to informal learning.
Kids are able to pick up and adapt life skills without the formal arrangement of a classroom setting. Your child will be able to learn how to be more independent in a safe environment.
Any periods of separation from parents or teachers allow a child the chance to think independently. This time will help your child build higher levels of self-esteem.
…While Also Fostering Teamwork
A crucial part of growing up is learning how to function as part of a team successfully. Campers will spend time learning to work together with people who have different personality types.
Often, those personality types are opposite to and incompatible with your child’s personality type. A camp is a safe place where your kids can work out the best ways to deal with and interact with people with whom they don’t naturally get along.
Camps Promote Active Learning
Active learning is different than the standard, passive learning students experience in a traditional classroom setting. Generally, students perform better when they participate in or interact with the learning process instead of passively absorbing the information.
Camps provide children with a chance to learn through direct personal experience. Some such activities include-
- Scuba Diving
- Team Sports
- And many more!
What Camps are Available?
If you are looking for a nature or adventure camp in the area, there are many to choose from. A few options are:
- Avid 4 Adventure Day Camp, Edina, June 15-August 7, 2020, Grades K-7th, $349-$399
- Base Camp, Bloomington, June-August, Ages 5-15, $165.
- Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center, Hastings, June-July, 2020, Ages 5-11 or 10+, $35 half day or $105-$235 weekly.
- Como Park Zoo and Conservatory, St. Paul, June 15-September 4, 2020, Pre-K-8th Grade, $135 half day or $155 full day.
- Girl Scout River Valley Summer Camp, Zimmerman and Marine-on-St.-Croix, June 19-August 30, 2020, Grades 1 and up, $90-$680.
- Kerfoot Canopy Tour Zip Line Summer Camp, Henderson, Limited to 10 people per session, Ages 11-15, $200.
- Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Minneapolis, June 8-August 27, 2020, Ages 5-15, $35-$284.
- Minnesota Zoo, Apple Valley, May 26-August 31, 2020, Ages 3.5-12th Grade, $25-$325.
- Raptor Center, University of Minnesota St. Paul Campus, August 2020, Ages 6-14, Starting at $130.
- Springbrook Nature Center, Fridley, June 8-August 21, 2020, Ages 4-12, $145-$155.
- Tamarack Nature Center, White Bear Lake, June 22-August 13, 2020, Ages 3-Grade 8, $99-$199.
Develop a Relationship with Nature
A healthy sense of respect for nature and the environment is essential for a citizen of the world today. Any chance you have to give your child a love for the great outdoors is a good thing.
Summer nature camps allow your children to learn respect, appreciation, and enjoyment in nature. They will learn why sustainability is crucial for the future of our planet.
And make sure you join the Twin Cities Kids Club for all the best discounts and deals in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.