As the final bell of the school year rings through the hallways, students from every corner of the campus explode into a raucous cheer in celebration of the freedom of summer, as well as the end to a year’s worth of learning. For nearly three full months, children and adolescents believe they will put learning on pause, which may in fact be true- unless you are one of the lucky students heading off to sleepaway camp for the summer, in which case learning has just begun. Sleep away camp provides its campers with endless experiences and opportunities that allow adolescents to learn and refine technical and interpersonal skills. Of the many skills gained through time spent at sleepaway camp, here are some of the most important lessons campers can expect to learn:
How to live in the moment
Summer camp in California is miles away from the worry of college applications or basketball team tryouts, so it is the perfect place to truly learn how to live in the moment. Camp life is full of activities and events, but it also allows for plenty of time to reflect and appreciate the amazing environment that you are engulfed in. In our day to day lives, we are often too bogged down with distractions to really get a chance to take in the world around us. Sleepaway camp gives its campers a much needed pause from the fast pace of reality and enables campers to feel content in their current circumstances. Learning to be present can make daily life happier and can help teach campers to better manage stress, both at camp and in post-camp life.
Willingness to try new things
Sleepaway camp provides new opportunities for all campers. For many campers, spending time away from their parents and families alone is a huge hurdle to be crossed. For more seasoned campers, new activities or unfamiliar bunkmates provide campers with new experiences. Going to camp and facing so many exciting, new options teaches campers to be adaptive and able to take on new and unknown challenges. At sleepaway camp, kids are in an environment in which you are encouraged to make choices and take risks that you might otherwise not be able to. Having these experiences at camp makes kids more resilient and willing to take risks outside of camp as well.
When Instagram and Snapchat are put to rest, so are constant reminders of what others are doing and the desire to please peers. Sleepaway camp provides an environment in which every camper is able to be carefree and to make choices based on their own desires. Instead of worrying about peer approval, campers at sleepaway camp get in touch with their true selves and learn to genuinely express themselves. Campers often find that camp allows them to come out of their shell and embrace their own idiosyncrasies. Whether a camper is putting on a star performance in a drama show, leading their cabin through team building at the ropes course, or just getting goofy for a cabin skit, camp provides a safe and supportive environment in which every child can be free and excited to be themselves.
How to work through differences
As diverse as the world is, many children spend most of their time forming friendships with other children of similar backgrounds who share similar interests. Camp opens doors to people who are often very diverse. Between counselors from all across the globe and campers with greatly varying backgrounds and interests, sleepaway camp is like a smorgasbord of individual differences. Having such diversity can lead to some challenges in cohabitating and coexisting, but sleepaway camps are safe environments in which campers can learn to thoughtfully navigate differences. Being around people of diverse backgrounds can help to prepare a child for life in the real world, in which diversity is so prevalent and necessary. Over the course of a session at camp, kids can foster relationships and friendships with others from every walk of life, and in doings so can learn to better communicate and accept differences while doing so.
Although most kids perceive camp as endless fun, sleepaway camp is also the perfect place for kids and teenagers to learn important lessons and skills that will help to propel them through life after camp. During a summer at camp, kids are able to spend time learning to be the best version of themselves and building skills for forming positive relationships with others. Although the school year might end, Summer camp in California gives its campers the opportunity to continue learning and growing all summer long.