10 Reasons to Send Your Child to Summer Camp

By: Christine Hammond, LMHC

I’ll never forget the first time that my husband and I suggested to our kids that they go away to a summer camp for a week.  As parents, we had discussed the benefits of a good summer camp program and spoken with many of our friends who recommended several camps around the country.  We took great pride in presenting the idea with enthusiasm to our kids.  Their response shocked us; instead of being excited they were mortified.  By their reaction, you would have thought that we were sending them away to a chain gang to be beaten and tortured.

So we gave them a year to get used to the idea and talk to some of their friends who already went to summer camp. By the next year they were a bit more open to the idea but still openly told us that we were “abandoning” them.  Fast forward to the day we picked them up from the summer camp and the unanimous reaction was “how come we only came for a week? I want to come for a month!”

Lesson learned:  Sometimes parents do know best.  So here are ten good reasons to send your child away to a summer camp:

1.       Provides your child with new experiences, people, ideas, and environments without your parental influence.

2.       Expands the scope of friends that your child hangs out with over the summer so that there are hopefully new and healthy friendships being added.

3.       For your child at camp, there are no parents to nag them, ask them to clean rooms or do chores, etc.

4.       Improves your child’s social skills as they will need to get along with new people in new environments without your input.

5.       Gives your child a break from you and you a break from them.  If you are fighting with your child, this break is long overdue.

6.       Invites new things to talk about so you can get out of the rut of the same conversations over and over again.

7.       Keeps your child from getting into trouble at home and watching too much TV or playing too many video games.

8.       There are many camps which specialize in one specific area of interest such as surfing, horseback riding, space project, dance, photography, science, hiking, rock climbing and many more.  This provides an opportunity for your child to get some advance skills in an area of interest which may even lead to a profession someday.

9.       The camp puts your child on a schedule that is dictated by them and not you; the new routine which will be met with resistance at first will later become a source of comfort.

10.   No electronics!  This is a bonus benefit for your electronic-addicted kid.

With all this in mind, here is a list of some of the summer camps available in the Orlando area:

My personal favorite camps:

·         Ridgecrest Summer Camps for boys and girls: http://www.ridgecrestcamps.com/

·         Boy Scout Summer Camps:  http://cflscouting.org/lanoche/summer-camp/

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