Children no longer go to summer camp just to play. While there is certainly an element of fun to most youth camps, there is also a strong drive toward academic skills, personal drive, communication skills, and even creative thinking. Children learn to be themselves and love themselves in these environments, but they also learn how to appreciate others, compete with others, and love themselves even when they fail. If you want your children to receive all of these lessons to reinforce what they are learning at home, camp could be the perfect place for them. Visit Courageous Kids Counseling – Teen Counseling.
Camp counselors used to just play with children, but the best youth camps now allow counselors to actually counsel. What are they counseling children on? All of the following:
- Communication skills
- Self confidence and self esteem
- Study skills
- Problem solving
This is just a short list to give you an idea of what many children are learning through summer camp. As you can see from that list, it is not all about academics or all about play. It is a mixture of fun and serious lessons, so children come out well balanced and ready to lead successful lives.
All of that sounds great, but how do you know your child is ready for this type of youth camp? How do you know they are old enough to stop just playing, and learn to start learning while they play? How young is too young?
In general terms, you want your children to start receiving this type of summer camp counseling by the age of eight. Many parents do not even start thinking about summer camp until children are about this age. This is often because they do not even realize younger children could go to camp and be safe on their own. If you can, it is better for your children to break away from this thinking. Children as young as five or six should be able to successfully start limited summer camp programs.
Here’s the catch: a youth camp program for a six-year-old should look very different than a summer camp program for a nine-year-old. The program should vary according to the child’s age, so that they get what they need from the program without becoming overwhelmed or burnt out at a very early age. The programs can vary depending on any or all of the following factors:
- Number of sessions per week
- Lessons taught
The older your child gets, the longer their youth camp sessions are likely to become and the more days of the week they are likely to go to the camp. Understanding the ages that they are working with very well, youth camp counselors will also adjust the lessons that they teach for different age groups. This means your child will always learn what is appropriate for their age. If you have a child over the age of five, you should move forward with plans to send them to a camp. Even if it is just a few hours a week, they will benefit from the counseling they receive.