In a 2016 study by the North Carolina Youth Camp Association of parents who send their kids to camp in North Carolina, 91% of respondents (3,540 parents) answered “yes” to the question, “Does attending overnight camp help your child succeed in a school environment?” Why does camp help kids do better in school? They stay mentally engaged during the summer. Summer break is a long time for kids to go without using the information they learn in school. Kids need a bridge from the end of spring to the beginning of fall that allows them to build on their knowledge base at the start of a new school year. That bridge is camp.
At camp, kids stay mentally engaged during the summer, learn new skills, and practice their social skills. They use math in woodworking, cooking, and music. They use chemistry in photography/dark room. They develop their problem solving skills in rock climbing and whitewater canoeing. They practice their storytelling in songwriting, creative writing, and Nature Lore. They practice their writing and grammar by writing letters home. Older campers may be more likely to take on leadership roles in camp classes that they have taken for years rather than in a school club. They are in a comfortable place where they can learn to lead and teach. Without the pressure of school and tests, kids don’t feel the need to find one correct answer, and they have the freedom to take more risks and come up with creative responses.
Camp provides a unique opportunity for kids to experience the joy and community of a summer outside with friends while doing active and often unconscious maintenance of their academic skill set that will ensure their ability to jump back into the school year come Fall. They may even use their new confidence to join or start a club at school to continue enjoying their newly found love of archery, batik, or guitar.
Don’t think your child is ready to take on a full week of this immersive and educational summer experience? Give your kid a chance to see camp in action this summer. Check out our Nestling Day for prospective campers in Kindergarten through 5th grade!
By Anna Lauria