Through college I worked as a camp counselor during the summer. I had a blast, both in and out of camp. My oldest daughter started her sixth summer at camp just last week and my youngest daughter started her first. Why did I go back summer after summer, and why do my kids love camp so much? More importantly, why do I love that my kids get to go to summer camp? I think there are some valuable lessons to be learned from camp, ones you can really only get from being part of a good camp program…
Most, if not all of my classroom management skills and techniques came from my camp counselor training and experience! I learned how to connect with kids, how to get on their level, and how to effectively manage a group of eager and excited children. I would recommend that each and every person who has ever thought of becoming a teacher, work as a camp counselor first! It was the best training I could have asked for.
Camp gives kids the confidence to set out on their own and try new things. At camp, kids may be pushed to do things they might not normally do, but in a supportive and friendly way. Each experience is made to be fun and each new accomplishment is celebrated. I think camp can do a lot to build a little one’s self esteem!
Social skills, social skills, social skills. Camp teaches both the campers and the counselors how to work with, get along, and even enjoy people who are very different from oneself. Children at camp have to problem solve and work together. They learn to be supportive and to be supported. Children learn to share at camp, how to talk to adults, and how to interact with their peers in a positive way. Without the pressure of academics, kids can be purely social, enjoy it, and learn a lot too!
At camp kids get to unplug, spend time outside, and use their imagination. Instead of sitting in front of the television or playing video games, kids at camp are running around, riding horses, swimming, singing songs, getting muddy, and making up stories…what a fun way to spend the summer!
It’s FUN! Whether you’re a counselor or a camper, summer camp is meant to be fun! The best part for me, as a mom of campers, is to see them come home at the end of the day with huge smiles on their faces. I don’t think I could ask for more!
Have you ever been a camp counselor or camper? Why do you love camp?