We often associate summer camp with young children, but as kids grow up, we may forget that they need some of the same experiences they enjoyed when they were younger. Maybe you think your teen doesn’t need summer camp. After all, shouldn’t your son or daughter be mowing lawns or lifeguarding at the pool? Your teen can still do these activities and enjoy a week away for summer fun and learning.
Discover the following six advantages of sending your teen to summer camp.
1. Teens can learn about giving back.
Camps that promote community-service opportunities provide a great way for teens to make a difference and give back to their community. At the same time, they’ll be learning skills that they can carry with them throughout life. Maybe your teen will get to pack boxes at the food bank or clean up a park or playground.
2. Teens can make new friends.
Summer camp often brings together individuals from different backgrounds and places. Making new friends can enrich your teen’s life by exposing your child to new perspectives and new life experiences. Some teens who are camp regulars always attend the same summer camp together every year, fostering familiarity and solidarity. Attending a new camp can be a great experience for your teens.
3. Teens can discover a new hobby.
When your teen unplugs from the screens at camp, he or she may discover a hobby to pursue and nurture throughout the year. Today, parents can find a camp for almost any type of activity or hobby, from art and music camp to Scouts and sports camps.
4. Teens can stay active.
Are you concerned that your teen would spend all summer glued to the computer and smartphone screens? When your teen attends summer camp, he or she can power off the laptops and put down the phones. Unplugged from the electronics, your teen will be able to hike, paddleboard, swim and enjoy being outdoors in nature.
5. Teens can begin to cultivate leadership development skills.
Whether it’s serving as section leader at band camp or organizing a squad’s activity, summer camp gives your teen the opportunity to cultivate leadership development skills. Through the camp experience, your teen can learn to take ownership of responsibilities, work with diverse groups of people and problem solve through challenges.
6. Teens learn to appreciate things they would probably take for granted.
When teens are outside their home comfort zones and going to camp by themselves, they’ll come home with a new appreciation for what it takes to be a part of a family and contribute to a household. As such, they’ll learn to appreciate the things they would probably take for granted at their homes, such as a refrigerator with food and a comfortable bed.
Sending teens to summer camp offers the above benefits and more to them. Give your teen an opportunity to get away for summer camp, and you’ll give your child an opportunity to grow and develop as an individual. JN
Michael Vyskocil is the lifestyle editor at Baltimore Style and Baltimore’s Child magazines – Jewish News-affiliated publications.
This piece first appeared in MetroKids – a Jewish News-affiliated publication.