The s’mores. The campfires. The freedom… The sunscreen. The camaraderie. The songs…
There’s just something about summer camp that creates the fondest memories of childhood. And while any former camper will gush about the new friends made, songs learned, and new activities tried, the benefits of summer camp extend far beyond stories to bring home to family and friends.
In fact, summer camp has been scientifically and psychologically proven to be beneficial to children, based on numerous studies that have examined the impact these programs have on their campers. Though choosing to part with your child for any amount of time can be a difficult decision, the facts are undeniable: sending your child to summer camp is one of the best things you can do for them.
At Kingsley Pines Camp in Raymond, Maine, the staff and counselors put a premium on keeping kids happy and parents at ease – as well as capitalizing on what makes summer camp so psychologically constructive. Kingsley Pines is full of discovery and adventure – the campers are swept up in the enthusiasm and dizzying array of fun and activities from the moment they first arrive, and they quickly form friendships that often last a lifetime. Read on to discover some of the proven benefits of summer camp, and how Kingsley Pines Camp ensures your child will come out stronger, happier, and more adventurous.
For many children, summer camp represents the first time away from parents, home, and the comforts that come with each. Counselors substitute for parents, bunkmates for siblings, and daily routines are transformed. While this can sometimes spark homesickness in campers, kids who overcome this challenge are more likely to be independent in the long run – leaving them with an increased sense of bravery, reduced separation anxiety, and better college preparedness. The American Camp Association notes that independence is one of the top areas of growth measured among campers.
At Kingsley Pines, trained, mature counselors help campers transition from depending on their parents to self-reliance. Additionally, the camp’s older camper and teen leadership programs offer a scaled level of independence, helping to customize the programming and opportunities for campers of any age.
Curiosity and adventurousness
The simple act of going to camp – to a destination away from home, often immersed in nature – is an exercise in stimulating curiosity. While we all fall into comfortable routines in our own hometowns, offering a child a new landscape, social structure, and breadth of activities to explore helps to foster a sense of curiosity and adventurousness that they will carry with them far beyond the days of camp. Kids will have a chance to explore various interests, and hone in on what stimulates them (and often, what they think won’t)!
At Kingsley Pines, the non-regimented sessions help foster an additional level of independence, as all campers have the opportunity to choose their own activities. Offerings range from water activities on the lake, arts and theater programs, outdoor adventure opportunities, and land sports. Campers will be able to explore a wide range of interests through the independently structured programming.
Often, curiosity and adventurousness translate into an increased likelihood of taking risks. The new experiences at camp – ranging from simply leaving home, to performing at a talent show or climbing a rock wall – have been proven to help reduce fear and anxiety related to unfamiliar experiences in children. The support of counselors and new friends can help foster a sense of confidence in these new areas of exploration, as well as ensure that the camper leaves with a positive relationship toward trying new things.
Kingsley Pines offers a range of activities and opportunities for campers to test their own limits and expand their comfort zone, all while under the watchful eyes of camp staff. These opportunities can range from physical and outdoor activities, such as the high ropes course, rock climbing, or windsurfing, to social ones, such as evening dances.
In a world where most children are connected to social media and reliant on technology, summer camp offers an opportunity for kids to be exposed to unplugged fun. In an environment where everyone is away from their phones and many modern technologies, your child will be expected to interact face-to-face with friends, counselors, and staff. By showing them that there are plenty of ways to have fun without a device, your child is more likely to return with a heightened sense of comfort with interpersonal interactions offline.
Kingsley Pines strives to create an environment that encourages offline activities, and thus does not offer video, computers, or video games as part of the program. Additionally, campers are not permitted to have cell phones, video recorders, gaming devices, e-readers, computers, access to the Internet, or any technology that can play video.
One of the top benefits of summer camp researched by the American Camp Association is the development of supportive relationships, which includes friendships made between campers. There’s a reason that most campers describe their cabinmates as their “sisters” or “brothers” – the bonds created through living, eating, and playing with other campers often feels stronger than those with friends made in less immersive environments. Additionally, activities such as team challenges, songs, and group activities help campers feel included, something that can often be a challenge when navigating new friendships – especially for adolescents.
Overall, campers acquire a sense of self-confidence in making and maintaining friendships that they’ll carry with them long after the summer is over.
Campers at Kingsley Pines are offered the opportunity to make these deep friendships both within and outside their cabins, where they meet other campers in daily activities, the dining hall, or camp-wide programming.
Additionally, the diverse demographics at Kingsley Pines allow for campers to interact with kids their age from across the world, exposing them to cultures that extend far beyond their own.
Ultimately, Kingsley Pines Camp in Maine is one of the most valuable and authentic summer experiences you can provide your child. For more information about Kingsley Pines Camp, call 855-799-7788 (toll-free) or visit the Frequently Asked Questions section of our website.