After spending a day, a week or a full summer at camp, a child will leave with a lot more than they came with. New friendships are created, memories are made, talents and skills are learned, and most importantly, children will grow as leaders who are more confident and independent.
Camp directors and camp staff have known for years the value of the camp experience.
“Camp is a magical experience that is fun, exciting and invaluable to a child,” says Brittany Dunne, program executive of Beaumont Scout Reservation. “Over the years, I have worked with all types of children but what I love seeing the most is the transformation of a shy, timid camper on the first day to a confident leader by the end of their camping experience. There is something truly special that takes place for a child when they get their first bullseye on the shooting range, reach the top of the climbing tower, or win their first race — and those are experiences that are unique to the structured environment of camp.”
Camps today provide a myriad of opportunities for campers such as shooting sports, climbing towers, swimming, all-terrain vehicles, hands-on DIY projects, leather work, welding, jet skis, safe boating instruction, zip lining, performance arts, agriculture and more.
Camp matters and makes a difference for the children who attend. It allows children, youth and adults to form a special community where great things happen. In an outdoor environment, children learn leadership qualities, develop self-esteem and confidence, and build a sense of independence.
“Camp is an adventure,” says Jarrod Blundy, program executive of Firelands Scout Reservation. “It is an opportunity for children to connect and explore the outdoors while strong supportive relationships are built between trained staff role models and campers. Whether children are playing, conquering challenges, or becoming part of a camp family, they are creating memories that will last a lifetime.”
While there is little doubt that camp is a special experience for campers, it also is a transformative opportunity for the young adults who join the camp staff. Staff members will gain invaluable career readiness competences such as interacting with professional mentors to enhance communication and teamwork abilities, gaining cooperative skills, learning adaptability and problem-solving while growing as individuals as they prepare for career success.
The camp experience produces many positive outcomes for children and young adult staff members: self-identity, self-esteem and leadership, along with growth in personal skills and competencies.
“Camp is a natural extension of the classroom,” says Carl G. Boyles, director of support services at the Boy Scouts of America Lake Erie Council. “Research from the American Camp Association indicates that by participating in strategically planned, structured summer experiences, children reduce summer learning loss. Camp challenges children, keeps them engaged, develops creativity and their talents, and expands their horizons.”
Camp is full of fun and excitement, but it is so much more— it positively develops children who are better equipped to lead in the 21st century with skills such as independence, leadership, the ability to work as part of a team, and a broader world view. Camp is a priceless experience for children today.
— Submitted by the Boy Scouts of America Lake Erie Council. For more information, councils.scouting.org/council440.
To learn more about adventures and opportunities for the kids at summer camp, please join us at Northeast Ohio Parent’s Camp Fair on January 27, 2018. Learn more and register here