Bush: It's almost summer
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By CARLA BUSH

How do kids benefit from summer camp? There are countless reasons why summer camp is great for children. It helps them grow and develop in ways that a classroom can't provide. Summer is an opportunity for a child to explore their special interests or discover what that interest may be. There are countless options for youth these days. As an adult we want them to discover their passion whether it be arts, athletics, or the outdoors. Sending a child to camp gives those opportunities to discover and learn at their own pace.

At camp children usually spend their day being active and unplugged from technology which is something we all need to do from time to time. They are constantly moving from activity to activity, staying busy throughout the day instead of sitting in a classroom or at home. They are more in tune to the people and environment around them versus immersed in an electronic device. Kids who may have difficulty in the structured environments of classrooms may thrive at camp. We could all benefit from being more active and taking a break from technology.

Athletic camps are plentiful, helping young people explore or improve in their sport of choice. Arts camps provide experiences for youth to discover acting, singing, dancing or try their hand at visual arts like painting, sculpting, or even heritage skills like sewing, weaving, crocheting, and knitting. Outdoor skills like swimming, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, hiking, camping, horseback riding, and shooting sports are found at traditional campgrounds. It could be the first time a young person has had an opportunity to try one of these things, so it will spark a memory and perhaps a hobby or skill that may last their lifetime.

Camp builds confidence. Youth grow in responsibility and independence. They are in charge of their belongings and managing their own time and money. They choose what they eat. What activities they will do. How they will spend their money. They make decisions for themselves and this is empowering to them. Lessons are learned from trial and error or logical consequences.

Most importantly to kids, camp is fun! New, exciting activities, exploring and learning new things, talking, singing, laughing, spending 24/7 with friends can be a truly bonding experience. Friendships and memories can be made and kept for a lifetime. Any child could benefit from true, caring friends and camp provides time for relationships to thrive.
There are so many unmeasurable benefits from sending your child to a camp. Countless opportunities for them to learn and grow are provided. They develop skills, character and mature on their own. All you have to do is encourage and allow it.

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