Page 36 - Alaska Parent Spring 2019
P. 36

                         Ask anyone who has ever been to overnight camp about his or her experience, and you will hear endless tales of comradery, cabin mates and campfires. Many times campers will
say overnight camp was the
first time they rode a horse
or shot a bow and arrow
or flew down a zip line. It's
where they learn to make their
beds and keep their belongings
tidy in cramped quarters. With
the perfect blend of adventure and responsibility, camp life teaches kids
valuable lessons they can use for the rest
of their lives. If you send your child to overnight camp, here are some life lessons they are likely to learn.
independence in their next steps
in life, like trips abroad and college.
                                                                                                                                 How to communicate
Story by Janeen Lewis
Sometimes it's hard to live with other people, especially if other people drape their clothes over your bed or hog the shower. And, it's not like kids can escape to their own room when they are at summer camp because everyone bunks together in one cabin. But kids can learn to work out differences they may have about how they share their living spaces, and it's more fun for campers to do the cabin chores together than alone.
As they grow up, kids have to learn to work in groups in their communities.
"That cabin group has community building at its core," Tom says.
How to be a
    Tom Rosenberg, president and chief executive officer of the American Camp Association, says today's youth spends so much time on technology, that learning to communicate face-to-face with peers is important.
He quotes a Pew Research Center study that says "Just 25 percent of teens spend time with friends in person outside of the school day on a regular basis."
In light of that statistic, overnight camp is a good place to get kids to socialize without technology.
"About 90 percent of camps don't allow kids to have computers or cell phones," he says. "In general, camps are an oasis for human-powered socialization."
How to be independent
For many children, camp is the first time they are away from parents and the familiarity of home. While this may cause some homesickness, it also gives children an opportunity to overcome being homesick. Without parents there, children learn to pick up after themselves and keep up with their belongings.
Overnight camp also can prepare students for
part of community living
 What Campers Say:
- 96%: Camp helped me make new friends.
- 93%: Camp helped me get to know kids who are
different from me.
- 92%: The people at camp helped me feel good about myself.
- 74%: At camp, I did things I was afraid to do at first.
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