For parents who had positive summer camp experiences, most would agree camp helped them become the caring people they are today. The same is true for those experiencing quality summer camps today, childhood development is enhanced by summer camp. Educators might even agree that summer camp could serve as the solution to summer learning loss. As the debate rages over education reform and year round schools to alleviate summer learning loss, could summer camp be the answer, playing a significant role in childhood development?
Summer Learning Loss
Among the reasons there is a national push for year-round schools is the concern regarding what is known as summer learning loss. The concern is real, as studies continue to confirm students experience learning loss if they are without education opportunities and activities during the summer months. And yet, the question remains, is keeping children confined to classrooms the best course for overall learning? Or, is fun, play, experiential “outside of the box” learning alongside formal classroom learning a better way to help children learn?
It is important when considering summer learning loss, to remember children do not all learn in the same way. And since, children learn differently, is it possible attention should be focused on a variety of learning, rather than simply teaching to pass standardized testing. Children need to learn and develop in a variety of ways, ways which allow them to think independently. Education has to be more than classroom learning and teaching answers, but also must include character development, self-esteem, utilizing the imagination, problem solving so they can rise to their fullest potential.
Camp – A Different Type of Learning
To that end, camps can offer a different type of learning, set in natural settings which allow for diversity and development of self-esteem, confidence, enhanced social skills, and community understanding, though physical activities, exploring nature, arts, crafts, music, experiential learning, and more. At camp, children can expand their minds, try new activities, attempt new sports, aim for new goals, safely taking risks in controlled environment with the support of nurturing adults. Camp allows children amazing opportunities for learning that a classroom isn’t likely to, and promises to help children develop into healthy, strong, and capable adults.
Camp, with its distinctive opportunities may be a better solution for summer learning loss that year round school. Shouldn’t all learning be child centered, methods which understand unique learning styles while promoting healthy and productive development? Children, given the right environments, are natural learners. Camp is one such environment – natural, healthy, safe – teaching teamwork, caring, self-esteem, and appreciation of everyone’s uniqueness and how they fit into society. At camp, children can thrive, find their place, and enjoy learning again without labels that often come in school (i.e. geek, nerd, jock, emo, loner, etc.).
Fun and play are learning in action. Play allows children to develop in all sorts of ways, physically, socially, emotionally, cognitively. Crucial to development, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child declares play among the rights of every child, alongside the right to rest, leisure, and participation in cultural life and the arts. Those rights, sound a lot like a camp experience, don’t they?
Camp plays an important role in childhood development, allowing for play and creativity, imagination and friendship, while promoting learning, innovative thinking, and independent, confident, future citizens. Camp Live Oak is one such camp, ready to welcome your children, provide a solution for summer learning loss, and help them learn skills and character traits that will last a lifetime.