5 Life Lessons from Camp
There are a lot of things kids learn from spending time away at summer camp. Here are five life lessons that we think are important:
1. Build Relationships
The skill of making new friends is vastly underestimated. At camp, kids are placed in small groups to help them feel more comfortable. Within these groups, it can be easier to make friends and get to know each other. In their small groups, they will have faith conversations, ask questions, try new things, and cheer each other on. Without the distraction of technology or devices, they are welcomed into real and supportive relationships. So many staff and campers talk about meeting some of their best friends at summer camp.
2. Believe in Yourself
Camp is all about new experiences. For some kids, just sleeping in a different bed and being away from their parents is new and scary. For others, it might be getting into a boat on open water, diving into the deep end of the swimming pool, crawling into the darkness of a cave, or choosing to get muddy in the creek. With your new camp friends beside you and your counselors offering a helping hand, that can be all you needed to embrace a challenge and try something new. Kids walk away from experiences like that with newfound confidence and belief in their own abilities.
At camp, we meet people who are different than us. They attend different churches, live in different towns and cities, go to different schools, and like different foods. They might have different skin color, hair color, or even speak a different language. Sometimes, this is the first time they’ve traveled outside their corner of the world to experience a new place with ponds, creeks, mud, and wildlife. As we share stories, build relationships, and sing together around the campfire, we also develop empathy for our world and for the people around us.
4. Experiences Just for Fun
A lot of what kids experience at school is a measuring of their worth based on performance. Their test scores determine what in what class or at which academic level they will be placed. Their athletic performance determines which team they make. Their music ability determines their seat in the band. However, at camp, it’s less about how well they can perform and more just about having experiences. I can have fun shooting a bow and arrow even if I never manage to hit the target. I can have fun racing a pedal kart even if I never cross the finish line first. Not everything has to be about being the best and brightest. It’s okay to do something just because you love it, even if you don’t feel you’re the best.
5. Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone
As we mentioned earlier, the new experiences at camp can be a challenge for some kids. Spending time away from home can be scary the first time you do it. Jumping off the tower to race down the zip line, wiggling through a tight passage in a cave, getting knocked over in bubble soccer, or sliding down the mud slide—these things can be a little scary and a little challenging. However, these are some of our favorite parts of camp because they teach us that our limits are so much greater and higher than we thought possible. When we step out of the familiar and the comfortable, we find something thrilling and wonderful and amazing all at once.
All of these are life lessons that happen at camp. Give the child in your life the chance to grow, dream, and explore this summer. Get them signed up today!