Disclaimer :: This post contains content sponsored content written by Camp Olympia to provide parents with information and resources about the benefits of summer camp.
Two years of a global pandemic has completely changed the standard path of childhood and what summers and socializing look like. In a lot of ways, it’s led to increased stress and reduced social interaction for growing children of all ages. Many kiddos have missed out on some important milestones over the last couple of years. With less access to truly carefree spaces, now more than ever children and young adults need summer camp.
Camp creates time for children to meet new friends, step out of comfort zones, and try new things.
There are so many reasons camp is beneficial for child development, but these are the top five ways camp helps bridge the pandemic development gap.
1. Time Outdoors
Researchers agree that kids who play outside or even walk in nature are happier, less anxious, and more self confident. During a normal school year, kids spend a lot of time inside, but the last two school years have meant new restrictions to reduce interaction.
Camp Olympia watches campers completely open up during their first few days at camp just from some fresh air and bright sun. The serene setting at Lake Livingston doesn’t hurt either! There’s nothing like the first taste of freedom campers get when they embrace the wide open spaces of Camp Olympia and finally get a chance to run, jump, swim, and play.
2. Camp Improves Social Skills
Strong social connections are key to overall happiness. Camp fosters the opportunity to make new friends and reconnect with old ones, face challenges in teams or as individuals, and learn from incredible counselors.
Campers who attended or still attend a virtual school model may need extra practice learning body language and physical queues you don’t get through a screen. Camp gives campers time to catch up on face time they’ve missed and reintroduce team environments that are crucial to development away from electronics and screens.
3. Camp Fosters Community
Being a part of a community has positive effects on growth and emotional wellbeing. Campers become part of a special community at camp.
Camp Olympia has decades-old Spartan and Athenian traditions that promote a sense of belonging and teamwork. Through Spartan and Athenian tribes, campers learn to encourage one another and work together.
4. Camp Builds Self-Confidence
When kids don’t have regular social interaction or challenge themselves with new experiences, self-esteem and confidence decline. Summer camp helps campers get out of their shell by putting them in a new environment with unique opportunities. With counselors to guide them, campers learn new skills, gain new experiences, and discover a new part of themselves!
Camp Olympia often watches the same campers grow year over year from age six to 16 and have the opportunity to impact the person they become. Campers leave camp having gained lifelong friendships, leadership skills, and hobbies that will carry them boldly into early adulthood with confidence.
5. Camp Is Time to Be a Kid
These last couple of years have required this generation of kids to be resilient, and in some ways, grow up too quickly. Camp gives children a moment to press pause.
Campers escape life stressors and enter an uplifting environment Camp Olympia calls “The Positive Zone.” In it, kids only need to focus on having fun, being themselves, and making memories with friends. With planned activities, delicious meals, and counselors to lean on, campers become kids again. It is an encouraging place for campers to relax and grow at their own pace.
Want to know more about camp? Learn more about the ultimate camp experience at one of Texas’ favorite summer camps, Camp Olympia. Spend one week, two weeks or three weeks of your summer at Olympia and create memories that last a lifetime. Ready to register? Pick your preferred term to reserve your camper’s bunk!
Debbie Stubblefield is the administrative director at Camp Olympia, and she is a mom of two! She, too, was a camper and counselor, beginning at Olympia at age seven. In 2004, Debbie joined the year-round staff, handling the marketing and communications for camp. She knows first-hand the positive impact that Camp Olympia has on children and has a passion for sharing that with others. She has helped develop a team of dedicated year-round directors, all of whom have once been counselors at Camp Olympia and share in the camp’s vision of providing the best experience possible. Debbie met her husband, David, when both were counselors at Olympia. They now are the proud parents of two campers, Pierce and Hudson.