Camps!! I see ecstatic faces of kids, eyes lit with hope, adrenaline rush, tenacity, and a lightning urge to pack the bags to hop on for adventure.
For kids, a camp is a happy, adventurous place, giving them memories of a lifetime. Camps are usually a part of the summer adventure when the kids can utilize their vacations in the most effective way. Stepping out of the protective environment, the kids are exposed to an enriching experience where they learn, grow and enjoy with the experts. It is the place where learning becomes fun, without any thumb rule or constraints. Camps for kids are of two types–
- Sleepaway camps/ resident camps
- Day camps
A sleepaway or a residential camp is the one away from home and close to nature where the children spend about 1 week in tents, at adventurous locations, to explore what nature has to offer to them. These camps revolve around the central idea of ‘learning with fun’. To provide the best exposure to kids, the camps work based on a disciplined itinerary for each day.
Some of the activities that the campers experience are-
- Making their tents
- Living with the least resources (hygienic but not luxurious)
- Cooking and serving meals (with and for co-campers)
- Rock climbing
The growing competition and the ever-evolving opportunities for kids these days necessitate learning beyond classrooms. School education does not and cannot suffice the overall needs of a growing child. In a class of 50 students, with a time and syllabus constraint, the focus on the non-academic aspects is overlooked. Henceforth, there is a lack in the all-inclusive development of a child.
Camps have been curated for kids to enable holistic development – mental, emotional, physical, and social. This is the place where the children develop a new outlook towards life and most importantly, they understand who they are and what their interests and talents are.
The benefits of camps are numerous. To name the most crucial ones, here is the list-
- Identity formation of the kids
- Better social presence- communication, behavior, acceptance, etc.
- Skill development- essentially soft skills
- Development of team spirit
- Independent beings
- Practical experience of life
- Better self-expression
- Good connection with co-campers
- Respect for cultural diversity
Are the parents willing to send their kids to camps? Well, when there is a discussion about camps, the parents usually claim that the kids are not ready for the camps. However, in reality, it is the parents who are unwilling or unprepared to send their kids to camps.
There are speculations that surround the concept of camps- they are not safe, the child might feel exhausted, the child is not mature enough to live away from home, the authorities do not pay attention, there is no authentic body that guarantees the safety of children, the child may feel homesick or the parents might experience kid sickness.
However, the camp organizers are a team of experts, who maintain a balance between the concern of the parents and pushing the children out of their comfort zone. These experts are well-educated and sensitive towards children, guiding them as mentors, friends, parents.