It is important for young children to develop a sense of independence early in their lives. This sense of independence will give them confidence in what they do and the courage to go out on their own to try new things. Summer camp is a great place for children of all ages to become more independent. The new setting they will be in and the new people they will be surrounded by will force them to speak up for him or herself and to make decisions on their own. The sense of independence they develop at summer camp will serve them for the rest of their lives.
You’re away from home- either all day or sometimes for weeks
For a lot of young campers, going to camp is the first time they are away from home. Whether it’s just for the day or if it’s for a few weeks, it is a big adjustment for children. By starting camp at a young age children will be more comfortable being away from home, as they get older. This comfort in new places will allow children to be themselves no matter where they are. It will really benefit them when they are leaving for college. Your child will feel confident beginning a new experience in a new place.
You’re with new people
Similar to being in a new place, first time campers will also be surrounded by new people, both campers and counselors. They will learn how to interact with others, make new friends, and how to be civil with people they do not get along with. The last point is extremely useful because all through a person’s life, they maybe faced with people with whom they don’t get along. Being able to be civil and respectful of those people will show a sense of maturity. Surrounding yourself with new people helps instill independence because you have to learn how to communicate with others and be confident that you’ll be able to make new friends.
You have to try new activities
It’s easy to only do activities that you know you are good at but trying new activities will help you become more independent. For example, if you attend a specialty camp you may get to focus on a skill that you may not be exposed to in a more traditional camp setting. These specialty camps can include machine sewing, theatre, or science. In a traditional camp setting, campers will be going to and from different activities all day. These can include different sports, arts, swimming, and more. Trying new activities will get you comfortable with trying new things later in life. You will meet new people and have to test yourself with these new activities and while it may be daunting at first, trying new activities will help you become more independent, which will benefit you through out your life.
You have to speak up for yourself
To be independent, you have to be able to get by on your own. An important part of this is being able to speak up for yourself. As young children, we are dependent on our parents to meet our needs. However, at camp, without their support, you have to be able to ask for things yourself. This will ensure that you have what you need and are taken care of, which is important once you are living on your own.
You have to make decisions for yourself
Learning to make smart decisions is an important part of growing up. We are constantly learning from our mistakes and learning what decisions will give us the best outcome. At summer camp, without parents there to help, campers have to make decisions on their own. They can be minor things, such as what you should have for dinner; to larger ones like what is the risk of sneaking out of your bunk. Being able to make your own decision and to tell the difference between right and wrong is an important aspect of independence. It shows that you can be trusted to do the right thing.
If your looking for a great camp experience where your child can become more independent, The Handwork Studio offers a bunch of unique classes where campers learn new and useful skills.