Why Send Your Child to Summer Camp?Lucinda Winston
The summer months are fast approaching, and parents around the country will be starting to think about summer camps for their children. Some families will have seasoned campers in the household, while others may have children who are heading off on their first experience. Depending on the child’s personality, this could be an exciting or daunting prospect. Or perhaps a combination of both!
FOR THE CHILD:
Whether your child is going to a day or sleepaway camp, there are benefits that will be common to both since they will:
- Interact with new people – fellow campers, counselors, and staff. This will enhance their social skills as they learn to communicate with different personalities on a daily basis.
- Grow more independent and confident, as they navigate their way in a safe and non-judgemental environment.
- Understand clear parameters within which to act, and help them understand the need for boundaries, especially when part of a large group.
- Explore new activities, which will enhance their risk-taking skills and sense of achievement.
- Learn to advocate for themselves and their friends.
- Discover the benefits of teamwork to achieve group goals.
There have been numerous studies to show how the unique experience of attending a summer camp can benefit children throughout their lives into adulthood.
Perhaps the most important reason of all to send your child to summer camp is that in our increasingly structured and scheduled lives, it provides precious time to play, to be silly, and to relax after a day of physical exercise and fun.
FOR THE PARENTS/CAREGIVERS:
Once a child is signed up for summer camp, the practical task of getting ready can be a daunting prospect for many parents. Most camps usually provide a suggested packing list for parents which will include items such as swimwear, casual clothes, water bottles, etc. For sleepaway camp, there can be as many as 90-100 soft items and 30-40 items with hard surfaces. Virtually all day and sleepaway camps require that clothing and other personal belongings be labeled clearly so that if they are lost or mislaid – and you can be sure they will be lost or mislaid – they can be returned to their rightful owner. This not only helps the staff keep the camp tidy and organized, but reduces the anxiety which a child might feel if they lose something.
Items on a typical shopping list can include:
- T-shirts, shorts, sweatshirts, etc.
- Towels and bed linens
- Cleats, sneakers, sandals, etc.
- Backpacks, music cases, etc.
- Sports equipment
- Shampoo, toothpaste, sunscreen bottles, etc.
- Flashlights, personal electronic devices, etc.
- Books, journals, etc.
For soft items, such as clothing and linens, the type of customized label will depend on how a parent would like to apply them:
- For smooth fabrics, iron-on labels are quick to apply, and easy to read.
- For soft fabric with a texture, such as fleece, sew-on labels can be stitched on in a couple of minutes.
- For sportswear, such as swimsuits and polyester short shirts, iron-on tagless labels, or stick-on clothing labels are a great solution.
- For sports bags, music cases, and backpacks, customized bag tags make these items easy to identify.
- For toiletries, water bottles, flashlights, sports equipment, etc. waterproof stick-on name labels apply in seconds, and come in a range of colors and designs.
A sleepaway summer camp, or well-planned day camp program, is designed to give children a feeling of freedom far from the responsibilities and discipline found at home and school. Where every day is about having fun, making friends, and savoring new experiences. The Summer days of childhood seem to last forever, and so do the memories.