Why Kids Need Camp

Passion is one thing that is so incredibly attractive in a person. It is what individuals get excited for, the thing that lights up their eyes. Passionate people can talk for hours on end about their one topic.

For me, my passion is camp. I live summer to summer, counting down the days until I can get back to one of the things I love most of all. Camp has impacted me oh so much and has definitely changed me for the better. I firmly believe that kids need camp and that camp holds power. So come along for the ride! Maybe you will even consider working for the summer on camp staff and we can improve and impact the lives of kids together.

 

Kids need camp for so many reasons. The need for time spent outdoors is among the largest reasons why kids need camp. So much can be said for an extended amount of time breathing in the clean air fresh off the lake and in the woods.

Earlier in 2014, the Nature Conservancy put out results of a survey that recently took place and was funded by Disney. The survey found that over half of U.S. parents were not okay with the small amount of time that their children are spending outdoors. In fact, “65% of U.S. parents see it as a ‘very serious’ problem that kids are not spending more time outdoors…this is equal to their concerns about bullying, the quality of education and obesity.”

In addition, 82% of U.S. parents “view spending time in nature as ‘very important’ to their children’s development – second only to reading as a priority.”

Essentially, kids aren’t spending enough time outdoors, and parents aren’t cool with that.

The solution? Send them to a week of camp, where children can be immersed in the great outdoors for a significant period of time. They may learn what it’s like to “rough it,” mosquito bites and all, have the opportunity to sleep in a cabin with their peers, and even get to experience all the glories of a beautiful sky of stars at night sans interfering city lights.

The senior vice president of Disney Citizenship, Environment & Conservation Dr. Beth Stevens states: “The more kids are exposed to the great outdoors, the more they appreciate the beauty and value of nature.”

 

Another reasons why kids need camp stems from the opportunity for campers to unplug. Technology usage runs oh so high these days, and increasingly younger and younger kids utilize it.

The average American youth spends:

82 minutes on their phone per day

80 minutes gaming per day

27 minutes on the computer per day

and only 4 minutes playing outside per day

A week at camp is equivalent to 10,080 minutes. That’s over 10,000 minutes for kids to unplug and be fully immersed in their surroundings.

 

Kids need camp to learn independence. And this perk is two-fold. It helps kids with homesickness and it helps parents with childsickness.

You cannot give them independence. The only way children can grow into independence is to have their parents open the door and let them walk out. That’s what makes camp such a life-changing experience for children.”

Camp is imperative in every kids’ life.

 

 

Now we’ve looked at why kids need camp… But what makes camp so magical? What does it have to offer? Well, I’m here to tell you that camp holds power.

Camp provides kids with opportunities that aren’t available elsewhere. The power of camp develops kids of all ages.

Kids are our future in developing potential CEOs, entrepreneurs, professors, and overall powerhouses. Why not raise them to be the best that they can be, to reach their absolute highest potential?

A week spent at camp empowers kids. It allows them to grow in their communication skills, in their decision-making, in their self-confidence. Kids learn how to take turns, build relationships, trust others and themselves, and create friendships that can last a lifetime. Camp is an opportunity for kids to learn fairness and responsibility; it also helps them prepare for adulthood. Most importantly, kids can be themselves.

 

 

At this point you may be saying to yourself, “Okay, okay, camp is important, I get it!” Camp can benefit younger kids, but what’s in it for me? …why should I work at camp?

Camp builds leaders, not just in its kids, but in its staff as well. Camp provides students – college kids like YOU – to learn, to grow, and to be pushed outside of your comfort zone. Did we mention it looks great on résumés, too?

A post featured on the New York Times blog discusses the weight of becoming a camp counselor for a summer versus finding an internship to take part in. In the blog post, the author is dad to a junior in college who wants to work for a summer camp. The dad reacts to this decision that he describes as “quiet rebellion”:

“Anyone can be a camp counselor, I said, and in this economy, she can’t afford to be just anyone. She needs to show that she is

exceptional, to bedazzle potential employers, to brand herself.”

His mind is changed up, however:

“…the clinching argument came from my daughter’s impassioned defense of camp counselors, and her outrage that someone                         glancing at résumés would believe that a 20-year-old who fetches coffee at Google is more impressive than one who spends days                   and nights nurturing, teaching, organizing, comforting and inspiring.

‘What I do there matters,’ she insisted.”

If you do a basic Google search of “why you should work at a summer camp,” over 70 million results pop up in all of .56 seconds. If you’re good with kids and like the outdoors (or even if you don’t like the outdoors…), this might be the thing for you, besides the fact that there are a plethora of reasons that employers are looking to hire former camp counselors.

Camp counselors are good communicators. They are problem-solvers. They are creative-thinkers. They are team players, leaders, and, above all, have a distinguishable and determined work ethic

Pouring into the future generation, spending time outdoors, engaging important life skills in others and in yourself, and getting paid? To some, this sounds like a no-brainer! It does to me, at least.

 

 

SpringHill Camps has two locations, one campus in Evart, Michigan, and one in Seymour, Indiana. Each of the two overnight camp locations puts on day camps as well. The day camps teams travel around the Midwest serving campers who can’t come to the overnight camp locations for a variety of reasons. The day camp teams partner with hosts – most of the time churches, sometimes with schools – to unload, setup, and run the full SpringHill experience – all off sight.

My journey of working for a summer camp – SpringHill Camps – can be found HERE.

I have learned so much about myself working for SpringHill. I learned that I am a super efficient person, that I like to make a plan then execute the plan, and that love serving others. I learned about leading others, and that leading is serving. I learned about patience and humility and putting others’ needs before your own. I learned how to communicate with a wide range of groups of people, and how to communicate effectively and confidently. I learned that I can have an impact on the lives of others. I learned that I am capable of only so much, but as a member of a team, we are capable of so much more. I learned how to submit and agree and how to speak up and disagree, all the while being graceful and professional.

I learned skills that I never could and never will learn sitting in an office. I learned more about myself then others could ever teach me. I learned the hard way, the hands on way, the best way. Camp has changed my life, and I wouldn’t trade my experiences for anything in the world.

Camp creates life change in campers, and in its staff members as well.  Kids need camp, and I have learned over the years that I do as well.

 

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