How Summer Day Camp Fosters Independence in KidsJune 14, 2019
Do you remember the first time you felt genuinely responsible for yourself? Not in terms of rent, a job, or pulling yourself up by your bootstraps, but when you first realized you could be on your own and handle yourself? The feeling usually comes about before you’re out of middle school, but there’s really no determining how ready you’ll be for it. Thankfully, there’s this thing called summer camp. Regardless of whether you’re sending your child to a day camp or overnight camp, you’re giving them the opportunity to grow and build themselves up without your guidance.
While that may seem like a frightening prospect, it’s not! Giving your child the room to be independent while in a controlled setting is one of the best things you can do for their self-confidence as they grow older. Let’s take a look at some of the ways summer day camp can foster independence in kids, shall we?
Pushes Them Out of Their Comfort Zone
Camp is meant to be fun but it’s also meant to be challenging. Meaning, summer camp is for doing things you love but also trying out activities that you might not have been able to try otherwise. Getting kids out of their comfort zone doesn’t mean we want them to feel overwhelmed with trying a new activity, however.
In fact, when the goal is to get kids to try new activities, they are supposed to feel a bit uncomfortable and unsure of themselves. When have you ever picked up a new hobby and felt 100% sure of yourself? Likely never, so we don’t expect that from our campers. Feeling uncomfortable about performing a task is part of the confidence-building process.
Now, getting kids out of their comfort zone isn’t only applicable to performing activities. Kids might feel uncomfortable meeting other campers, working together in a group, or even being away from home for several hours a day. Everyone is different, so we here at Black Bear Lake do our best to foster independence in our campers each and every summer.
Gets Them Used to a Busy Schedule
Days at summer camp aren’t spent lounging around. Your child will actually be quite busy with a schedule filled with activities and events to partake in. Adhering to a schedule, even when all the activities are fun, helps shape children to be responsible for their daily routine. And, as we all know, that’s an invaluable skill the older we get and the more responsibilities we take on.
When kids own their schedule and stick to it, they’ll feel more in control of their day and of themselves. If they attend camp every summer, this feeling is compounded year over year and more often than not will result in a very well-rounded individual who knows how to hold the reins and command their day. Knowing how to make your schedule work best for you is hard enough as an adult, but getting a head start on handling your schedule as a kid can have you sitting pretty when it counts.
Acquaints Them with People of All Kinds
A sure-fire way to feel confident and independent in life is knowing how to speak and work with people of all kinds. Kids who attend summer camp have a leg up on this, as they are exposed to new and old campers alike every summer. The plus side to summer camp is that it exists separately from school, which can allow kids to feel like camp is a fresh start and give them a bit of a boost in wanting to branch out and make new connections.
It might seem strange that one gains independence through communication but interacting with people you hardly know, or may even be intimidated by, is an empowering feeling in and of itself. Making new friends and utilizing the social skills you’ve learned along the way lends itself to greater confidence and more assuredness throughout life.
Summer Day Camp Results in More Confident, Independent Kids
While these aren’t all the ways summer camp fosters independence in children, they are some of the most important. Getting out of their comfort zone, sticking to a schedule, and branching out socially can have really positive impacts on children as they continue to grow. When you choose to send your child to Black Bear Lake Day Camp, know that we’re helping them develop and become the confident young adults they’re meant to be.
Interested in enrolling your child here at Black Bear Lake? Contact us for more details!