The summer is fast approaching and if the recent Bank holiday is anything to go by, it is shaping up to be a scorcher!
The kids will be breaking up from schools and interest groups and whilst the decision on whether or not to send them to a summer camp largely comes down to it fitting with the family schedule, there are tangible benefits to be had from the summer camp experience.
This July we will be heading to a beautiful private ancient woodland in the Essex countryside, to play, learn and explore everything it has to offer. We will be running three camps: 9th – 13th July, 16th – 20th July and 23rd – 27th July.
In August we will change the location to the stunning coastline of the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset for our SummerScape 2018: Coastal Exploration expeditions. During the two camps: 13th – 17th August and 20th – 24th August there will be coasteering, rock climbing, and many more activities for the kids to experience.
On the surface, the daily play, interaction with other children, learning about nature and having fun doesn’t sound all that different to a day at school. At the summer camp, the kids will be taken out of the comfort zone usually offered by schools, extracurricular activities or a familiar home setting.
However, camps provide a unique, structured environment, unique in setting and style, providing various opportunities for kids to grow in self-confidence, learn new skills, become independent and increase their friends’ network.
Try new things
At a summer camp, kids get a chance to try things they might not usually have access to in their usual set up. Whether it’s building a bivouac and sleeping under the stars, cooking on a campfire or getting into a canoe- in a distraction-free environment, the kids can give everything a good chance and you never know, they might just find their new favourite thing!
Grow in confidence
The roles assumed by kids at various points during the term time are varied: students, children of parents, grandchildren, team-mates etc. Upon entering the summer camp, all of these roles disappear and the kids have a unique opportunity to create their own identity, re-invent themselves. There is a whole new group of kids for them to interact with, cooperate on group activities, form new relationships and lasting friendships. Summer camp boosts their confidence by providing various interesting impulses and situations on a daily basis.
New kind of friendships
The kids attending our camps find their ‘tribe’, their friends based on common interests, bound by experiences shared and memories made. This is a very common feedback we get from our campers. The activities they partake in making it easy for friendships to form – since they’ve jumped ‘straight in’ with a group of like-minded peers. The friends made in this way have a potential to last for a lifetime, as the kids will always associate that particular moment with their friends and if the same or similar were to occur again, they will have their ‘tribe’ to call on.
Grow in independence and self-empowerment
Without Mum and Dad around to make the decisions on their behalf, at the camp the kids truly become adept at the independent thought and decision-making process. They understand what goes into making a good decision and what the repercussions are of making a bad one. Additionally, they will have a group of peers to lean on, should they require additional support and feedback. This gives them a greater sense of empowerment and helps to grow in the independence of thought and action.
Greater appreciation and gratitude
A week at the summer camp will give a chance to compare the settings and set up a kid has at home to the one at the camp, away from known. The simple method of comparison and reflexion will make them appreciate and be grateful to the parents and also to their guardians at the camp for everything that’s been given to them (or they take for granted) on a daily basis. Some of our parents say their kids come back more mature as if they’ve grown up in the short time at the camp – which is also a happy side effect of their time at the camp!
We love exploring the great outdoors and seeing the discovery and joy in our campers’ faces. There will be games (day and night!) but also a free time that lets everyone to adventure on their own, with the firm knowledge of their friends close by if they need them. Everyone 9 years and older are welcome and we can’t wait to see you there!