When summer begins it can mean many things – days are longer, holidays to Spain or Italy, maybe relaxing in a pool.
For quite a few children, it means summer camps. A place for them to gain independence, to make new friends, and to find new interests and hobbies.
For them, summer camps are a magical place. It’s a place for them to make new memories which they will keep for life.
Summer camps have changed completely from when they first started in the late eighteen hundreds. There are now so many all around the world, that the choice is endless. You can send your child to a summer camp in Switzerland, for them to learn the arts of skiing. Or to send them to a summer camp near a lake, where they can have the chance to do all kinds of different water activities. Wherever they go, there is one thing you can count on. And that’s the growth in confidence and independence.
Yet, it is understandable that when you send your child to summer camps, you do miss them. You miss talking to them, seeing that twinkle in their eyes when they achieve something that they didn’t realise that they could. Most summer camps offer three weeks sessions, but you can choose all the way up to ten weeks. That is a lot of weeks not seeing your child, and a lot can change in that time.
It would be great if there was a way that you could see how much your child changes, as well as witnessing their love for sports or the arts growing and developing.
What are summer camps?
Summer camps are a holiday for children. They are taught important skills for the future, such as independence, through fun activities. Depending on their age, children might learn about cooking and baking. Some camps focus on one main area, for example. some might focus on drama. Therefore, if your child loves the thrill of performing, camps that focus on drama will be perfect for them. It is a way for them to develop their skills and gain new friends who have the same interests as them.
Summer camps are also a place for children not to end up sitting around at home all day, during the summer weeks. It’s a chance for them to make mistakes, learn, and create many fantastic memories.
What do children gain from summer camps?
There are many qualities that children gain when they spend time at a summer camp. And these skills that they learn help them a lot in everyday life. Here is what they gain from summer camps:
As stated above, independence is the main skill they learn. Camp can be seen as the perfect place for children to practice making choices by themselves, without a parent or teacher helping them do this. We all know how it felt growing up and doing simple activities, like going to the shops, without our parents for the first time. As if we had been given the Olympic torch, and trusted to manage this task alone. It felt freeing. A little scary, of course, but amazing at the same time. The ability for us to make choices without someone guiding our every move enabled us to be able to think for ourselves.
Summer camps give your child a chance to decide their everyday choices in a safe environment. Gaining this skill is something that summer camps drive for, as not only is it freeing, but it’s a skill that is very important that every person needs.
As there are many different places where you can send your child to summer camp, it means they have a lot of opportunities to make new friends. It’s even possible they might make a friend for life. When being at summer camp, it makes your child feel that they are in a different world. They are free from the pressure of social expectations that can occur during school. Instead, they can relax and make friends with anyone. They have the chance to meet other children with the same interest as them. Friends who will help each other in gaining independence and more confidence. As well as someone to make memories with.
Your child has the chance to learn life-long skills. Camps have many different areas to enhance your child’s skills. Whether that is learning different elements of sports, or arts, or connecting with nature. Camp helps your child with this. It gives a chance for your child to discover new interests and develop them.
We all know that mistakes and setbacks will happen, it’s natural. Summer camps help teach your child how to be resilient. They teach children that even when something negative happens on a project they are working on, that it is normal. And to encourage them that when this happens, it is important to try again. This skill is vital because it is good for your children to know not everything will run smoothly. And that trying and trying again will help them develop their skills and independence.
Are you missing out?
Summer camps do seem like an amazing place to send your child to. A place for them to relax and forget about school. However, it is understandable if you feel like you are missing out on seeing your child developing. As we said earlier, there are many skills that your child learns. And not being able to see all of their wonderful achievements isn’t ideal for you, as a parent.
It’s been mentioned again and again because it is a very important element for summer camps. They really do believe in letting your child gain independence. This can make it hard for parents to be engaged with what their children are doing. Of course, every summer camp is different, but a quick look at different summer camps’ websites shows how much involvement they want from the parents. They would rather keep it as minimal as possible.
Summer camps do express that they have emails for parents to use. Some also give out their phone number, enabling parents that they can call and have a talk with their children. However, they also do advise to try and refrain from calling all the time. The reason for this is because every call your child receives takes them away from gaining independence.
Most summer camps have a group on Facebook. A place for them to post photos, for you to see the fun activities that your child has gotten up to. It’s a place where they can store your child’s memories for them to remember all of the great skills they have learnt, which sounds like a great solution, but is it?
Well – Yes and no. It’s a yes because you have the chance to see all of the great achievements your child gains throughout the weeks at summer camp. However, it can also not be seen as the best, because you don’t know when they will post the photos. They might do it once or twice a week, maybe even less than that.
I think we can all agree that you want your child to gain independence, to learn new skills, to make new friends and to grow in confidence. And summer camps are the perfect place for your child to learn all of this.
But we can also agree that there should be a way to know all the wonderful skills that your child has learnt, without taking away their growing independence. A system where the leaders at the summer camp could upload an image of your child within seconds. And where you could see them doing something fantastic that you didn’t know they could do. Such as performing, or tree climbing.
Splento has developed such a system – the Splento App.
A safe place for you to witness your child gaining independence and all their other summer camp activities, with inbuilt security and robust technology. Where you can be a part of your child’s experiences, without infringing upon them.