Summer camps recall images of campfires and marshmallows under the stars, but modern camps now provide far more choices and opportunities. While some camps, especially those with a strong wilderness focus, still run mainly during the summer months, others run year-round and offer activities ranging from the arts to intensive English practice to space and science programs.
Like most other countries around the world, students in Thailand have nearly three months free from school. Research has consistently shown that such a long holiday period leads to drops in learning: “Without ongoing opportunities to learn and practice essential skills, kids fall behind on measures of academic achievement over the summer months.” Yet many children spend those months playing video games or socializing with friends. Camps provide the perfect way to not only prevent this loss, but also build skills that cannot be taught in school.
Why Join a Summer Camp?
Avoid the Summer Slump
Children who join summer camps spend their holiday period engaged in programs that promote learning. Most camps now balance traditional camping activities with academics and the arts. This helps prevent the losses that normally occur during school breaks.Additionally, children who join camps gain other skills that help them when they return to school. Camps force them to develop social skills and a healthy emotional balance. Both of these are important in academic performance. Students who can collaborate with peers and are confident in their work are often more successful.
Learn to Overcome Challenges
One of the skills most valued by universities and employers is resiliency: the ability to learn from mistakes and challenges. Many parents now shelter their children. But when they are protected from risk and discomfort, many children do not know how to get past adversity.Camps are an ideal way to be challenged in a safe environment. Children are forced to push beyond their comfort zones, trying new activities and overcoming their fears. Most modern camps, recognizing the importance of resilience, design their programs specifically to build this key skill.
Be Physically Active & Connect with Nature
Most summer camps require students to be very active, spending much of the day in physical activities. Programs that are based in wilderness areas offer activities such as sailing, archery, hiking, dancing, yoga and many more. Beyond promoting physical health, this also helps children reconnect to nature, away from the distractions of modern technology.By following these structured programs, children develop a greater appreciation for healthy lifestyles, while also breaking their dependence on technology. Most camps place strict limits on the use of smartphones and other devices, or do not allow them at all.
Become More Independent
Camps provide the perfect opportunity for children to develop as individuals, giving them the freedom to explore interests and make their own choices. Being on their own, often for the first time, helps them develop self-confidence and a sense of control.The chance to meet entirely new friends who know nothing about them also allows children to define themselves. Camps are inclusive environments that enable them to do this without being labeled or judged by their peers.