12 Incredible benefits of sending your child away on camp
Camps are fun. Camps during school holidays are even more fun! But why are they important? Is there more to them than just silly games and crazy songs? Way more. In a world gone tech crazy, sometimes the great outdoors is just that: great.
In a world where it is the norm that both parents have to work, school holidays can pose a challenge. After all, when school holidays kick in, kids can’t sit at home all day and watch TV, or expect the housekeeper to entertain them.
Camp isn’t just a “day care” for kids, though. Here are the amazing benefits of sending your school-going child away on Bush Camp.
1. Exposure to diversity
Camp connects kids to those they may not normally meet. This is not a school camp where they go away with their class friends. At Bush Camp, which is more like the American Summer Camp we see in the movies, kids from all over South Africa come together with the common goals of having good, clean fun in the fresh, clean outdoors.
Kids learn the world is a big place with lots of people, who might do things differently than they’re used to. That includes other kids from different cultures – and the camp’s counselors and leaders, who really care about the kids, and serve as positive role models.
2. Boost to self-esteem
When kids are at camp, they don’t have their mom and dad there to help them approach people and make connections. They have to put themselves out there. It teaches them confidence. Also, learning new skills, like how to build a fire, or developing archery skills, also makes a child realise how capable he or she is to learn and grow
3. Free time for unstructured play
Camp life gives children a much-needed break from the overly-structured, overly-scheduled routines of home and school, so that they can just play. Camp is a slice of carefree living where kids can relax, laugh, and be silly all day long. At camp we play!
4. Develop social skills
Camp builds teamwork. Coming to Bush Camp means creating a new, close-knit community where everyone has to agree to cooperate and respect one another. When they share a cabin with others, have to share chores, and resolve disagreements, they experience firsthand how important sincere communication is in a team.
5. Bush Camp awakens kids to nature
Bush Camp gets kids outdoors and enjoying nature. It meets a very real need for kids who don’t typically have easy access to acres of nature at their back door. Compounded by the tech-saturated environment our kids live in, kids today spend much less time outdoors, causing a “nature deficit” according to many reports. But camp reconnects them with nature by exposing them to seeing and experiencing things like wide open spaces filled with trees, game, and walking those trails in person.
6. Fosters greater independence and resilience
Kids are empowered at camp to take care of themselves, with guidance from Sherpa Kids supervisors. Bedtimes are set, and schedules are jam-packed, but children still have to get themselves up and ready on their own steam, make their camp beds and find their way to the food areas. This develops independence, and confidence. Kids can be a little too attached to mom and dad, and Camp can teach them how to trust themselves to make decisions and take care of themselves.
The benefit of higher resilience in your child is a culmination of many of the above benefits. New friendships, confidence, independence. All of these things add to the development of your child as they make strides towards becoming a strong, contributing, competent adult.
7. Instills leadership skills
Camps allow kids to make choices. They are natural leadership training places. As a result, these kids are less likely to be affected by peer pressure and more likely to set the pace and tone for other kids – and feel empowered in tasks they take on throughout their lives.
8. Creates wonderful memories
Camp creates amazing memories for the future, Kids come back with tons of memories of the good times, silly shenanigans and fun activities. Camp creates an atmosphere of discovery and self-improvement that stays with a kid long into adulthood.
9. Camp gets kids active
Camp helps kids learn how to be kids again. Because of the zero-tech policy (only Sherpa Kids staff and WESSA staff are allowed to have cell phones), kids can truly take advantage of all Bush Camp has to offer. That means those prone to sit on their bottoms on their phones all day, or play video games, are forced to get up – and get moving!
10. Builds unique interests
There aren’t many schools that offer archery, or fire building courses. But, Bush Camp specialises in these! So if your child has an interest in anything outdoorsy, where do they go to learn or gain experience? So, camp is one very good, distraction-free option, and allows for a time for kids to kick the tires on a new interest.
11. Camp creates lasting friendships
Jumping into a new experience or activity with other kids is a great recipe for building new, and lasting, friendships.
12. Fosters greater appreciation and gratitude
Time away from the comforts of home helps kids appreciate home, their parents, their things, a meal cooked by mom or dad, and everything else they don’t have at camp.
Statistics above are from the ACA Youth Outcomes Study.
For more information on Sherpa Kids Bush Camp click on the following link: https://www.sherpakids.co.za/sherpa-kids-bush-camp/