There are so many good reasons to send a child to camp and I will make this piece short since the most important reasons are summed up quite easily.
by Mark Diamond, Camp Manitou
When children go to camp, they are on their own, sometimes for the very first time in their lives. They have to decide what to wear, what to eat, which activities to participate in. Of course counsellors are deciding this with them, but in essence the campers soon learn that they can make decisions on their own and as a result they develop self confidence and become self-reliant.
As self-esteem develops from learning to be on their own, children continue to try new activities and also engage in one’s that they are familiar. In school, children do not experience success in the same way and can often think of themselves in a lessor light. Camp can be a school without failure because just having fun makes you a success.
Often parents call to say that they can not believe how their child’s grades improved as a result of camp. Or how they now clear the table or help out more around the house. A well directed camp will focus on trying to make every camper experience a success and it is that feeling of success that translated into self-esteem.
Of course one of the greatest benefits of a camp experience is that children develop social skills. In a camp setting, a good counselor will make sure that every camper is included in the activity and that each child interacts with the others in a positive way. They learn the give and take of group living, they learn how to work and even depend on others and more importantly that others will depend on them. Something as simple as clean-up, is not only there to get the cabin clean, but to foster a team atmosphere of working together which in turn results in friendships.
The obvious benefit of camp is that Campers make long lasting friendships. These friendships can often be more unique and extra special because campers are living with each other and see the true personalities. Because campers and staff come from all over the world, or even from a different school, children learn to see others from a different perspective. Children tend to be accepted for who they are and do not have to be as concerned with what they wear or what they are good at, or how they look. This is because in a camp setting, respect and caring ultimately win out over materialistic or short-sited objectives.
And of course learning skills at each activity is a great benefit for campers. By being exposed to so many arts, sports and outdoor recreation programs campers have fun and develop self-esteem. They also learn skills that they can then pursue and enjoy for the rest of their lives. Because they have 30 different activities to chose from, each and every camper can feel special enjoying a craft, sport or outdoor activity. So as we tell our staff, yes camp does give children fun, friends and fulfillment.
Camp Director/Owner Camp Manitou