Summer youth camps can be found in most countries around the world, offering a variety of activities and educational courses to fill those gaps between school terms. For some parents and children, summer camps have become a way of life and are eagerly anticipated every year, with children returning time and again to meet up with old friends, make new ones and try different things. For parents and children who haven’t experienced summer camps, trying it for the first time can be daunting. Parents in particular can often feel a great deal of concern as their children head off without them for the first time.
There are plenty of benefits for parents who are able to let go of the reins, so if you’re struggling with this dilemma, take a read through our list of top reasons why you should take that step back and send your child to summer camp.
Taking a first break away from the family home is where most children learn to stand on their own two feet and develop that sense of independence that can help them be confident and successful in life. It’s a good introduction to living in community groups without your family present, which can emulate the sort of experience an older teen might have when they attend university or college for the first time.
Of course it costs money to send children to summer camp but the reality is that in today’s hectic world some parents might simply struggle to take time off to be with their children over the holidays. For those parents who have to continue to work, the alternatives are to rely heavily on family and friends or to pay for some sort of childcare, depending upon the age of their children. When money is an issue, summer camps can offer an economical alternative to daily care and can alleviate that nagging feeling of guilt felt by a placing increased pressure on the goodwill of family and friends.
3. Parental time
There are too many parents who see having time for themselves as being selfish. But if you’re juggling full-time employment with caring for children and running a household, a little personal time and space is essential for the maintenance of your sanity. Not only can summer camps be an enjoyable experience for children, but they can also give parents the opportunity to have a few quiet weeks with decreased responsibility and more time for themselves. It’s a great way for mums and dads to take a breather.
With so many camps to choose from you can use these residential stays as an opportunity to work on skills that your child might be struggling with in other aspects of their lives. These might be educational skills such as learning languages, general practical skills that can be enhanced by team building exercises, problem-solving activities and so on, or even social skills for children who struggle to fit in and make new friends. By choosing a summer camp that helps improve areas that your child is struggling in, you’ll help improve their confidence and give them a real boost when term time arrives again.
Whatever your reasons for sending your children to summer camps over the holidays, the one thing you can be sure of is that they will be having fun. These summer camps are designed to teach people in an engaging environment and to ensure that they get the most out of the rewarding experience. Busy parents will probably find it difficult to entertain their children every day of the holidays, so is much more satisfying when a child comes back having abseiled down a rock face, built a rope bridge or rafted the white waters of a foreign river instead of reaching the highest level on their latest PlayStation game.
Lola has been working at summer camps for three years.