Examining the benefits of summer camp


S. Smith

Laughing with camp friends before heading off to the next event of the day, junior Skylar Smith enjoys her time spent with friends at summer camp. Skylar, like many other Wildcats, has stated that summer camp has introduced her to some of her best friends, many of whom she still keeps in touch with regularly despite not attending the same schools or living in the same areas.

Maggie Cargile, Section Editor

  While summer may be long over at this point, now is the time to start planning for next year. This is the time where most students start booking vacations, looking for summer jobs, and of course, applying to summer camp. For many Wildcats, going to summer camp is a cherished tradition which they have held for many years, and they look forward to heading back year after year. Some Wildcats, however, have never had the opportunity to attend a summer camp and may be contemplating the idea of heading off to camp for the first time. Whether you are a counselor or a camper, there are a slew of benefits linked to being at summer camp that will continue to affect your life in the long run.

  One of the most important reasons to go to summer camp is the establishment of lifelong friendships. Junior Skylar Smith said, “Going to summer camp has helped me create some very close and long lasting friendships that I am extremely thankful for.” While many years ago, staying connected with camp friends who do not live near you may have been more of a challenge, today’s world of technology has made keeping long distance connections alive and stronger than ever. Many students have attended the same summer camp for years, and often look forward all year to going to camp and spending time with their best friends. It is also not uncommon for camp best friends to meet up and reunite throughout the school year. Statistics have shown that camp friendships are some of the strongest friendships around. While the data does not know exactly why this is true, it has been theorized that the strength of these bonds is due to spending the majority of the day together for an entire week or longer in some situations.

  Another important benefit gained from attending summer camp is the important experience of gaining independence. With no parents around, veteran campers are taught at a young age to do things for themselves and not rely on a counselor or other authority figure to do things for them. Campers are also held responsible for fulfilling routine tasks, such as keeping up with personal hygiene and completing simple chores. This teaches responsibility which they will be able to carry home with them and build off of for the rest of their lives. 

  Camp is also a very important place to foster personal growth. At camp, campers and counselors alike are able to have a variety of new experiences that they probably would not have been able to have at home. While participating in a variety of new and exciting activities, such as archery, kayaking, rock climbing, and fencing, campers are able to practice their skills and improve over the course of their session. As campers come back year after year and continue learning new skills, they establish an excellent set of social, emotional, and physical skills that they will be able to build off of later in life.

  With so many wonderful camps in the area such as Camp Kanata, Camp Cheerio, Camp Seafarer, and Camp Merri Mac, choosing the right summer camp can be a tough decision. However, once you do a bit more research and make your choice, you will be counting down the days until it is time to head off for a summer of growth through friendship and adventure. Camp is such a wonderful place to be and will lead to the development of long-lasting friendships and strong skill sets you will keep for the rest of your life.