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6 Big Benefits of Summer Day Camp

Healthy Living

      

Every child can benefit from the experiences of summer camp. But for many parents, the decision of whether or not to sign their child up is not so easy.

Many parents feel the separation and independence required of a camper for sleepaway camp may be too high of a hurdle for the child or themselves. Many campers are (in their parents’ minds) too shy or ill-equipped for resident camp. Oftentimes, parents themselves are not ready to let go of the child for the duration of a camp session. And some campers are simply “too young.”

For these families, Day Camp can provide a camp experience that is nearly identical to sleepaway camp without the anxiety-producing long-term separation.

  1. Camp builds self-confidence. By removing academic, athletic and social competition kids experience at school, camp helps kids build self-confidence! There’s an accomplishment every day!
  2. Campers make new friends. Counselors help children create new connections and reach outside of their comfort zones to meet and play with children they may not have known during the school year.
  3. Campers unplug from technology. Camp is full of games and organized activities that give children an opportunity to enjoy doing instead of just watching. Outdoor activities encourage them to commune with nature, realizing their roles in stewardship of the land.
  4. Campers learn new skills. Camp activities help children develop skills like swimming, horseback riding, sports and art and social/emotional things like teamwork, creativity, and self-confidence.
  5. Camp is fun! With non-competitive activities and diverse opportunities to succeed, camp life is a real boost for kids. Geared toward the interests of every child, camp activities are made to be fun – no tests required!
  6. Day Campers Come Home for Dinner. In the evenings, parents and children can sit down together and discuss the events of the child’s day. Parents can share in their child’s successes, work through any obstacles that their child faces and help shape their solutions. This gives the child practice for when they have to work through issues on their own.

Day camp can be a child’s first independent experience away from mom and dad. A child can strengthen emerging skills of making new friends, taking care of their own belongings, trying new activities, and taking risks. Registration is open now for YMCA Summer Day Camp 2018 at 11 Birmingham area locations. Register online through April 30 at www.YMCADayCamp.net.

-Jennifer Neil

YMCA of Greater Birmingham, www.ymcabham.org 

Read more healthy information from the YMCA at www.BirminghamChristian.com. Click on News/Health

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