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Seven Reasons for Camp


7 Reasons to Send Your Child to Summer Camp
            It happens every year. The kids are out of school. At first they are excited and relieved, with the long summer stretching in front of them, full of endless possibility. Then, by the second day of summer, the chorus begins. "I'm bored!" Many parents are at a loss - how do we keep the kids busy, happy, entertained, and moving? Summer camp can be a perfect solution to the summer doldrums, with many benefits the kids won't even realize they're receiving!
1.     Physical Activity:  A national study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 62 percent of children aged nine to thirteen years old did not participate in any physical activity during nonschool hours and 23 percent engaged in no daily physical activity (Duke, Huhman, & Heitzler, 2003).   Most camps offer a variety of physical activities that easily reach the suggested 60 minutes of daily exercise to keep kids active and healthy.
2.     Improve Social Skills:   Many children may grow up with the same school and church social groups for years. They may never have the challenge and opportunity to strengthen social skills in a meaningful way.  Summer camps offers such an opportunity. In a study by the American Camping Association and Philip Research Associates, it was found that “More than 96% of parents agreed with the statement ‘Camp helped my child make new friends,’ and 93% of campers agreed that 'Camp helped me get to know kids who are different from me.'"
3.      Learn New Skills: Today, parents have more choices than ever.  There are the usual general camps, but also many sports specific camps, outdoors camps, music camps, technology camps, Lego Camps, and even math camps. Well-designed camps challenge kids and introduce new information.
4.     Increased Self-Confidence:   Physical activity, improved social skills, and new skills promote feelings of accomplishment and competence. Accomplishment and competence are generally followed by increased self-esteem and confidence.  
5.     Unplug From Technology: Our new digital world with electronic entertainment on-demand is all many children have ever known. It is common now to see 6 & 7 year olds with cell phones. Camp gets kids away from the screens and into reality.   Camp helps get kids to engage the creative parts of their brains. Instead of using an app to bake cookies, play a sport, or make art, they actually do it!
6.      Helps avoid summer brain drain: Children that stay engaged in the learning process, especially through summer camps, retain more of the information they learned at school. According to the NSLA and research conducted by Johns Hopkins sociology professor Karl Alexander, intentional summer programs, like camp, help stem summer learning loss by providing experiences that challenge children, develop talents, keep them engaged and expand horizons.
7.      Because it’s FUN!
Decatur Parks and Recreation proudly offers an array of summer day camps and programs. See them by clicking on the following link.
Sean Dailey
Fort Decatur Recreation Center
ACA Certified Camp Director

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