Kids grow to be healthy and happy adults when they are given the opportunity to be healthy and happy kids. Seems simple enough, but with the pace of life today, the over emphasis on technology, the lack fact-to-face social interaction, and the diminishment of physical activity, achieving that can be challenging. Summer camp is and has always been a refuge and opportunity to grow stronger kids. Now more than ever, the benefits of attending summer camp have never been more important.
The Five Benefits of Summer Camp
1. An Adventure Brings Out the Best in Kids
Take a group of kids, get rid of their mobile devices, electronics, normal daily routines and, yes, parents and place them on an adventure. What kids get is the opportunity to discover so much more about who they are and those around them. An adventure is essential to the soul. It feeds the need to discover the natural world and in doing so, teaches something great about yourself.
2. Someone Just Realized They’re ‘All That’
At Kidventure’s Camp Safari, kids take a ride on what they call ‘The Big Gulp’. Essentially it’s a giant swing that you are harnessed in to. Your friends haul a rope, which pulls you to a high point. At said point, you release another rope and take the worlds largest swing, usually screaming like a banshee all the way. For some kids, the swing is viewed as too risky and too scary. But with a little coaching and encouragement, they do it! In a matter of seconds, that kids are transformed from terrified to being ‘All That’. The opportunity to accomplish something that seemed so scary provides a serious confidence booster and a well-deserved smile afterwards.
3. A Little Adversity Loves Diversity
Campers at Kidventure’s Echo (ages 13-16) are a diverse group of teens. They are a blend of racial, ethnic and economic backgrounds. Yet, when faced with a long hike into the backcountry in hot weather, they come together to support, care for and elevate everyone around them. Faced with an obstacle, they come together and not apart. They find joy as one and learn some serious lessons that they will take with them long after camp is over. Together they understand that diversity enriches the group dynamic and offers a greater opportunity for success.
4. Wings Sprout Without Parents
When kids go off to camp, they get themselves up at 7 AM, paddle down a river, zip line through a forest, and discover a shooting star…and they do it all without their parents. That realization has the curious effect of blossoming confidence and independence. Their wings begin to grow and they return home happier because you gave them that chance to be independent.
5. Grit Breeds Character
We naturally comfort, nurture and protect our kids, but many times it’s to an extreme that limits them from independently dealing with some simple adversity. Sweating it out on a long hike, carrying their own stuff when it’s heavy and sleeping outdoors fosters a little ‘grit’. Grit is an attitude that allows someone to deal with uncomfortable things and even learn to find the joy out of them. Without grit, kids suffer, they complain more and have less capacity to be independently happy. With grit, kids succeed, they persevere and get more enjoyment out of life.
With all the challenges facing our kids today, It’s good to know we’ve got camp as a safe place to grow great character and it’s good to know that parents understand the value of making that part of their kids’ life. Camp is a force for good when done right. It’s an opportunity to bring out the best in kids and those who work with them.
At the end of the day, the power of camp isn’t what takes place while your kid is there, it’s what they take with them and draw upon long after camp is over.
Kidventure’s 2018 Overnight Camp Programs
Safari: Ages 8-12
Named ‘Texas Best Overnight Camp’ two years running, Safari Overnight Camp has been one of the most rewarding and dynamic summer camps in Texas. The camp mission is simple: provide kids with the opportunities to learn important life lessons through adventure, teamwork and just pure fun! There simply isn’t a more rewarding Texas overnight camp experience.
Echo: Ages 13-16
With a focus on outdoor high adventure, teamwork and community service, Echo offers a life-changing experience that your teen will remember forever. Kidventure’s unique eight day camp provides unlimited opportunity for teens to learn, grow and be a part of a 24 year tradition of excellence and experience.
Apex: Ages 17-18
Give a young person the opportunity to accomplish great things; in an environment that promotes leadership and courage and great things will happen. Kidventure’s APEX, is an ‘expedition style’ camp for the oldest of campers. With Kidventure guides and counselors, a select group of 12 young men and women kayak twenty miles of the pristine Pecos River in West Texas. Along the way they discover new possibilities, rely on one another, and move one adventure closer to becoming great.
For more information on Kidventure Camp and all their programs visit kidventure.com
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