A U.S. tradition for more than 150 years, more than ten million American kids go to camp every summer. In the beginning, the allure of camp was getting away from miserable and even unhealthy hot city summers (remember, this was before air conditioning). Camp is no doubt a popular trend and today, kids have even more reasons to embark on the annual adventure. Consider the top eight things to do at summer camp.
1. Meet New People
Campers gather from all over: different cities, different states, even different countries. Exposure to a whole new population breeds rare opportunities for making new friends. Campers can learn about different places and cultures, returning home with warm memories and an expanded worldview. Meeting new people adds tremendous fun, learning and excitement to the summer camp experience.
2. Try New Things
Camp hosts all sorts of games and activities you would never find in your own backyard. Archery, sailing, pottery, dance, obstacle courses — the list goes on. Bouncing the same old basketball gets old — and fast. Camp is a unique place to mix things up and beat the summer blues.
3. Challenge Yourself
Playing new sports and games, learning new crafts, pushing yourself to achieve more: camp welcomes challenge (and the resulting change) with open arms. Although never easy, conquering a new challenge is always rewarding. Campers discover a new sense of resilience, confidence and self-esteem.
4. Appreciate Nature
Everyone deserves to explore the beauty and importance of the natural world. From the trees, soil and water, to the wildlife, nature is necessary for the earth and for people inhabiting it to survive. Campers get out into the woods and mountains, discovering how the web of life works. You rarely find nature at its finest in your own backyard.
5. Change Scenery
Camp is a place to get away from the familiar. It’s about finding a new place — for yourself. You can make a fresh start, see and experience a variety of things and find out how you think, feel and act outside of your normal surroundings. Camp is a chance to get away from family and friends for a while — and just be you.
6. Learn New Skills
Rich with activities like pottery, sailing and tap dancing, you can always pick up a new hobby at camp. Camp also builds important life skills including independence, self-reliance and confidence. Living with group of people, campers also learn cooperation, compromise and tolerance. Best of all: the learning process continues every summer.
7. Get Healthy
All the fun, games and physical activity brings campers a healthy dose of exercise and a (literal) breath of fresh air. From swimming and hiking, to sports like baseball, football and cross country running, the camp experience is always a healthier alternative to sitting on the couch watching TV all summer.
8. Have Fun!
Camp is simply a good time. Imagine days filled with performing arts, inline skating, mountain biking, horseback riding, canoeing, kayaking, rock climbing, whitewater rafting and more. Campers can learn survival skills or just explore nature. One thing is for sure: camp is anything but boring.