As the winter thaws and the warm weather begins to reappear, memories of past summers invoke anticipation for what’s to come, from eating popsicles with friends and running barefoot through the grass to lighting sparklers on the Fourth of July. Unfortunately, in addition to the joys summer brings, research confirms that the freedom of the season also invites a concerning “summer slide” or a decline in the retention of important academic skills, when students are not consistently engaged in reading, mathematics, and critical thinking experiences. How do parents allow their child the well-deserved academic break he or she needs, while still exercising their child’s mind?
Finding A Healthy Balance
Embracing both the adventurous and memorable aspects of a summer alongside opportunities to learn and grow, a robust summer schedule can guide children toward the perfect balance of fun and progress - a balance we like to call C-A-M-P.
By offering students opportunities to embrace Creativity, Adventure, Multicultural experiences, and Problem solving all summer long, camp programs can serve to keep young minds engaged and active, while bridging the gap from the end of one school year to the start of the next.
C is for Creative Thinking
Keeping young minds active doesn’t have to be boring. By using memorable activities that stimulate campers to think outside of the box, campers can be challenged to think creatively as individuals, and as a part of a team. Skill building through the arts, cooking, and hands-on STEAM experiments allows campers to have a blast and not feel the pressure of structured learning when school is not in session.
A is for Adventure
When a camp uses themed-weeks and curated activities to inspire campers to explore to the limits of their imaginations, it taps into children’s innate desire to discover and question, encouraging curiosity and the crucial instinct to play – at every age! The adventurous spirit of a great camp and the invaluable memories made during the time spent there can shape a child for a lifetime.
M is for Multicultural Experiences
Camp offers a unique opportunity to mix, mingle and make new friends, often helping campers break free from their “bubbles” and challenging them to build skills around communication, collaboration, and critical thinking. Campers learn to appreciate differences while engaging with campers of various ethnic, socioeconomic, and cultural backgrounds - all the while building a stronger community that can last the test of time.
P is for Problem Solving
More often than not, play and problem solving go hand-in-hand. That’s why many summer camps feature exciting, team-oriented games and activities that challenge children to playfully learn, discover new skills, and work out solutions alongside fellow campers to keep minds sharp, without missing a moment of pure, childlike fun.
With the right combination of engaging activities and learning opportunities, parents can keep their children enjoying the summer AND 100% prepared for the new school year. Bring on C-A-M-P!