Maybe you’ve been thinking of sending your child off to camp this summer. If you have, there are huge advantages in store at the right camp for him or her! What makes camps so beneficial and how can you decide which one is the right fit?
If you aren’t sure if summer camp is for your child, take a look at the following benefits it can have:

Physical Activity in Nature
Children spend tons of time being physically active while getting reacquainted with nature. Keeping busy with activities such as swimming, hiking, and climbing means children won’t be sitting around playing video games or scrolling through Facebook all summer.

No judgements or failure
Children are often in academic, social, and athletic competition during school, but the non-competitive nature of camp offers them numerous opportunities to succeed and discover their talents, passions, and interests without the pressure of failure or being judged. “After having gone to camp, my son asked why we don’t do more outdoor activities, like fishing,” says Diana Di Iorio, a Laval mother.

Increased autonomy
Since children are required to help out with chores and make their own decisions, they can become more independent. By being separated from their parents, children can also strengthen their self-esteem by learning that they can stand on their own two feet and can be valuable to those around them. “When my sons returned home, they were more cooperative and more independent. For example, I didn’t need to remind them to take their lunch before leaving for school,” Di Iorio explains.

Improved social skills
Children’s social skills may also improve. Campers have to interact with their counsellors and other children from morning till night during activities that require team effort and cooperation. “Learning social skills was a huge reason why I sent my children to camp. I have always believed that being around children of different genders, social backgrounds, and ethnicities is very important” says Di Iorio.

Learning also continues at camp, but without the competitive nature of school. Many activities are organized by counsellors to keep children learning in a fun way.

If you are not sure which camp is right for your child, start by getting some references from other parents or visit the Association des camps du Québec website at http://camps.qc.ca/en/parents-et-enfants/accueil. Here, your child can take the “What type of camper are you?” quiz, which will output a list of certified camps. Afterwards, search the internet for reviews on each to narrow down your selection.

Next, prepare some questions and call each camp director. Some helpful questions might be:

  1. What does a typical day during camp look like?
  2. How much personal attention will be given?
  3. How are difficult situations, such as confrontations, handled?
The thought of our children going off for a whole summer might not be easy, however, with the right research and due diligence, we can rest assured that they will only benefit from the valuable experiences that their school and home environment cannot offer.