Why Pick a Day Camp for Kids?
Considering day camp for kids? Day camp is often your child’s first steps towards independence and can help your child develop important life skills and interests that will last a lifetime. Not to mention day camp is just FUN! From swimming to arts & crafts to special event days, camp packs a whole lot of excitement into just a few weeks over the summer. Check out these great reasons why day camp can be so beneficial for your child.
Psst…If you are starting to look for day camps for your kids, check out The Best Day Camps for Kids in New York
Being away from you, even if just for the day at camp, allows your child to work on skills without your assistance and to explore their interests all by themselves. As a result, children gain confidence that they can do things on their own. Katie Duffy, Director of Camps for Asphalt Green in Manhattan says, “From taking the bus to and from camp to getting changed for swimming independently without the help of mom and dad, campers are practicing independence daily and feeling good that they have conquered something on their own.”
With children spending hours each day engaged in screen-based activities, it’s no surprise that children have lost the art of communicating face to face and being able to recognize the emotions of others. Gordon Josey, Director of Breezemont Day Camp in Armonk, NY comments, “I believe that camp 20 or 30 years ago was nice to do but wasn’t as necessary as it is today. Camp is a place for children to disconnect — where children can just talk and laugh with each other, practicing face to face communication. You can be the smartest kid in school but if you don’t know how to communicate and listen to others, you aren’t necessarily going to be successful in the 21st century.”
Camp is an intentional community that your child is instantly welcomed into. Campers and staff share rituals and traditions unique to the camp which helps everyone become part of a tight-knit and supportive community. “We have a dedicated group of people who work full time as camp professionals and only think about camp. It’s how we are able to create the culture and community we have,” says Josey. Gordon explains that camp is about team building and creating a safe place for children to try something new or hone skills they have already been working on. “Whether it’s a child who plays baseball during the school year and just hit a home run or the child who struggles athletically but just hit the ball off the T in T ball, the whole group cheers them on because the whole purpose of the game being played at camp is to be part of a team and work together to succeed.”
Duffy says that camp is one of the best places to form friendships. “Children are together all day and enjoying fun activities. They sing songs, swim, talk over lunch and play games and sports together in a relaxed environment that feels very different than school.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics states the importance of play in promoting healthy child development and believes it allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity and physical and cognitive, and emotional strength. “Unfortunately, today’s children no longer play,” comments Josey. “Whether it’s because of social media and video games or we as parents no longer let kids just go outside and knock on a neighbor’s door to play, camp is where a child can play the way we played as children.
Want your child to get quality sports instruction this summer? Many day camps offer expert sports instruction while also allowing your camper to participate in traditional camp activities like arts & crafts and archery. “One of the best parts of camp is that children are exposed to so many different sports and activities, which allows kids to realize what they like,” says Josey. “Along with traditional camp activities, we offer expert instruction for our sports with a tennis professional teaching tennis and a NCAA Basketball pro teaching basketball, so if you are looking for quality sports instruction, it can be found at day camp.”
School is great for learning math, reading and writing, but not every student walks away from the school day feeling confident. What’s so great about camp is that there are no tests or scores — only activities designed to help children build confidence. “Confidence comes in different ways at camp. When a camper performs in the camp talent show and gets a loud round of applause or when a child sets the goal to move up a swim level and then achieves it, they are gaining confidence and walking away feeling good about themselves,” says Duffy.