Kids hang out by the rocks after swimming in the river.

A Look at the Lifelong Skills Kids Learn at Ottawa Summer Camps

At last, summer is almost here! For many parents, that means deciding on childcare options for upcoming summer vacation.

An excellent option for both you and your child is summer camp. Rather of staying indoors glued to their phones, tv, and video games all summer, kids can learn valuable skills in summer camp that will help them grow up to become well-rounded individuals.

Summer camps prepare kids for adulthood by introducing cognitive and behavioural skills. There are many immediate benefits of camp for kids that will eventually influence who they become as they get older.

Here are a few of the many lifelong skills they can develop at summer camp:

  • Independence;
  • Self-confidence;
  • Emotional intelligence;
  • Healthy living;
  • Leadership skills; and,
  • Environmental awareness.

Unfortunately, in today’s world, children often grow up in front of screens. Being obsessed with their electronic devices can actually hinder social, cognitive, and physical development. For this reason, it’s incredibly important to get them out of the habit of relying on screens for entertainment.

Kids can’t learn valuable face-to-face social skills on social media. Nor can they develop essential life skills from playing video games indoors all day. Furthermore, the lack of physical activity is causing increasing rates of childhood obesity.

But you can help your child develop into a healthy individual by opting for a fun summer camp that teaches kids important life skills that will follow them into adulthood.

The Core Benefits of Camp

Friendships & Social skills

Camp is a very social environment, forcing kids to get out of their comfort zone, meet new people, and make meaningful friendships. Kids learn how to get along well with others and build social skills, such as teamwork, negotiation, cooperation, and conflict resolution.

They also develop independence and self-esteem needed to take risks. This helps them be confident in social settings without their parents around. Since camp is temporary, children are willing to take risks, make mistakes, and learn from them. In turn, they develop a sense of identity and better social skills along the way.

The emotional intelligence that kids develop at camp will lead to future success in adulthood. Emotional intelligence is an integral part of maturing as a social being. Children learn empathy and how to control their emotions so they can play, work, and connect with others successfully.

Confidence & Resiliency

Camp activities teach kids hands-on skills, physical fitness, creativity, and develop their emotional maturity. These emotional skills include courage, perseverance, and responsibility.

The social, emotional, and physical challenges kids face at camp help them learn that it’s okay to fail. They learn from their limitations and learn how to make improvements. Kids ultimately learn resiliency—how to cope with the stressors of life.

Camp is a safe and supportive environment for kids to take risks and build a sense of independence. They can build confidence and resiliency, which they likely wouldn’t learn in the comfort of their homes. This confidence brings shy kids out of their shells, making them more social and outgoing.

The confidence boost that kids get at camp will benefit them in all areas of life, especially in school, and down the road in work and relationships.

Physical Fitness

Many kids don’t get the recommended hour of physical activity each day because they are preoccupied with busy schedules and screens. A lot of kids would rather play video games, watch TV, and go on social media instead of play outside.

But at summer camp, this attitude toward physical activity changes as kids have fun while being active. They develop a healthy routine; they start camp early in the morning, have set meal times, and are consistently physically active throughout the day. And best of all, they learn to have fun without their devices. Exercise also boosts endorphins, making kids feel good about being active.

This positive attitude toward physical activity will get kids outside playing more often. And the motivation for a healthy lifestyle can stick with them into adulthood.

Connection with Nature

Even summer camps in the city take kids outdoors to experience the natural world. Along with the physical benefits, spending time outside helps kids develop an understanding and appreciation of the environment.

While out in nature, kids can see what they’re missing out on when glued to screens. In turn, they might form lifelong connections with nature.

Leadership Skills

Team activities teach kids how to be comfortable and confident when they take the initiative. They learn to be decisive, take action, and support teamwork. Leadership skills are developed as kids build confidence and other social skills at camp.

The ability to take the lead in situations will help kids become better citizens. They will learn that they can’t sit around and wait for someone else to take the initiative for them. Each person plays a role in contributing to a better society.

Continuing Education

Children learn useful cognitive, physical, and emotional skills when they spend their summer at camp. Since this form of education is relaxed and fun, kids will absorb more knowledge without the defined structure of school. Camp counsellors also provide immediate feedback during games, sports, and skills-training activities in a laid-back environment that alleviates pressure.

Your child will feel capable and confident because of the skills they learn at camp. When kids find a specific learning process enjoyable and have fun acquiring new skills and education, this can make them a better student in the future and make them invested in their education well into their adult years.

Just Have Fun

Life moves by quickly and is full of schedules and routines that aren’t typically fun for kids (or parents for that matter). Combine that with the amount of time kids spend looking at screens, it’s no surprise that they don’t get enough unstructured play time.

Camp offers your child the opportunity to enjoy themselves with free play time that encourages them to be social and creative. Kids learn to use their imaginations and entertain themselves instead of relying on technology. Camp is also an important structure that provides a supportive, non-competitive environment for kids to interact, share, take turns, develop, and set boundaries.

By learning how to engage with others, exercise creativity, entertain themselves, and be more autonomous in their day-to-day schedule at camp, children will likely grow up to become more independent, cooperative, self-assured, well-rounded adults.

Ultimately, if you’re unsure of how you want your children to spend their summer, there’s no going wrong with sleep-away or day camps in Ottawa. Aside from learning new skills, making friends and developing their social skills, and gaining new experiences, your child will have the experience of a lifetime and make lasting memories that they will cherish in adulthood.