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Parents' Corner

Social Development Benefits of Summer Camp for Kids

Posted by David Smith on Wed, Apr 05, 2017 @ 08:30 AM

summer camp social development benefits.jpg“The building blocks of self-esteem are belonging, learning and contributing. Camps offer unique opportunities for children to succeed in these three vital areas and even beyond home and school.” —Michael Popkin, family therapist and founder of Active Parenting

“The biggest plus of camp is that camps help young people discover and explore their talents, interests and values. Most schools don't satisfy all these needs. Kids who have had these kinds of (camp) experiences end up being healthier and have less problems which concern us all.”Peter Scales, noted author/educator and Senior Fellow, The Search Institute

Both of these quotes come from the American Camp Association, which shares the benefits of summer camp for kids, including social development benefits. To be successful in life, according to the ACA, children must learn to be resilient, and that includes developing self-esteem and self-reliance, life skills and strong social behaviors. Summer camp provides this development because children get to participate in a true community environment. These camps encourage and facilitate healthy development that includes large doses of fun, where children “interact with positive role models who have time to listen, talk, relax, and reflect.”

Another article, “The Social and Emotional Long-Term Benefits of Summer Camp,” shares more details about how summer camp for kids is the ideal setting for children to develop their social intelligence. Daniel Goleman, the psychologist who developed the term “social intelligence,” says the two components are social awareness and social facility.

Social awareness is a child’s ability to monitor his or her inner world, which includes feelings and thoughts. It also encompasses the development of empathy, social cognition and attunement to others. Social facility is social awareness put into action as a child interacts with another person or with a group. With a more developed social facility, a child presents himself or herself better, and has concern for and influence with other people.

Camp is a perfect place for children to further develop both sides of their social intelligence, and the more they can put this skill into practice the “more smoothly they can incorporate the skills for the rest of their lives.”

ParentGuideNews.com points out that “free and unstructured play is healthy and essential for helping children to reach important social ... milestones.” And summer camp provides significant amounts of play time, both structured and free time.

Summer Camp 2017

Spring is here, which means it’s time for early camp registration with Horizon Education Centers. Here's what you can expect from Horizon's 2017 summer camp:

  • Educational activities like art, science, reading, math and technology
  • Fun clubs like dance and cheer, gardening, flag football, building and engineering, fitness and walking, arts and crafts
  • Family night with activities for everyone
  • A summer reading program
  • Swimming instruction
  • Field trips to places like Swings-N-Things, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Hale Farm & Village, Mitchell’s Ice Cream, the Cleveland Police Museum, Akron Fossil & Science Center and more.

Enroll your child in Horizon’s Summer Day Camp 2017 — Decades of Fun in the Sun, from June to August 2017.Horizon Summer Camp

Topics: summer camp, social interaction

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