The kids are heading back to school to start the new year, and those who spent time at Maine camps bring new skills, tools and confidence to help them thrive. So how exactly does camp help kids to be great students?
Just like at camp, as students grow older, they will have more independence and responsibility in their day-to-day school lives. Maybe your child will go from traveling in one large class from classroom to classroom to navigating their school campus (and school schedule) by themselves. If so, there’s nothing like a summer spent at camp to prepare kids for this responsibility. Depending on the type of camp programming, campers may be given their own individualized schedule based on the activities they choose – and just like at school, they will have to learn to get from place to place. Of course, at camp there are always staff members around camps to help kids get where they need to go, and to ease the transition of this independence. Kids can practice these skills during the summer, so that they are better able to deal with this newfound freedom and responsibility when the school year rolls around. Other signs of post-camp independence for school parents see may include their kids setting their own alarm, choosing their outfit, making their bed, and making their own breakfast and/or packing their lunch.
One of the most challenging parts of any school year can be collaborating with other students on group projects. However, for campers, this experience is made significantly easier due to the practice they have navigating their social lives and working with other kids at camp. From deciding what game to play at rest hour to how to decorate the bunk plaque, camp is full of different opportunities to collaborate and navigate potentially tough situations. Camp teaches kids to communicate clearly, honestly, and respectfully, all of which are key components of working in a group. So when it comes time to divvy up the research on Napoleon, campers will be well-practiced and ready to step into a leadership role.
One major benefit of camp is it helps breed confident kids. Camp teaches kids to dream big and set lofty goals, but also helps them learn the importance of hard work and day-by-day improvement to reach those goals. You may not hit a bullseye during your first round of archery, but if you keep practicing, that arrow is going to get closer and closer to the center, until you can feel pretty good about your chances.
This confidence translates directly to school success – either in the classroom or in extracurriculars. A camper knows that with hard work and perseverance, they can achieve what they set out to do – so when that big science test is on the horizon, they know they can break down the information and study to put themselves in a position to succeed.
Camp also gives kids the confidence to try new things – from new activities to new foods. During the school year, a child will have ample opportunities to get involved in extracurriculars that appeal to them. Some children may shy away from these opportunities, fearing they won’t like the activity or won’t be good at it. But campers learn that it’s okay to try, and okay to be unsure about something, and will be that much more willing to take the plunge. Who knows, they might discover a new favorite after-school pastime!
So now it’s time to see those valuable camp skills in action and be the best students we can– wishing all our Maine campers a wonderful new school year!
Talk to Laurie, our Maine Campcierge™, about choosing the right camp for your child and what to do in Maine.