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Eggnog and S'Mores – Camp is a Holiday Tradition
For some families, thinking about camp during the holidays seems odd. For many other families, camp has become part of a holiday tradition – the gift of camp. Families know that camp provides children with self-confidence, a sense of independence, and the skills necessary to develop into a successful adult. By giving a special child the gift of camp, families can give those intangible life experiences – experiences that will last a lifetime.
Camp is a safe and nurturing environment that enhances campers’ social skills through group activities and the chance to make new friends. Because camp is for everyone, children and teens have the opportunity to meet and interact with peers from outside their school environment, allowing them to expand their horizons and be themselves in a learning environment. Through activities that promote sharing and teamwork, camp provides experiences for children and teens to develop leadership skills, learn compassion, and commit to larger goals.
With organized and intentional programs, camp can supplement formal education with a balance of experiential learning programs that are physical, emotional, and social. There are camps and camp programs that specialize in a myriad of activities – from computers to performing arts or marine biology. There is a camp for every child and every interest.
At camp, children experience successes that promote self-confidence and future academic growth. Camp creates experiential learning through exploration and discovery. Independent research published by the American Camp Association® (ACA) shows that parents and camp staff, as well as children, report significant growth in several areas, including leadership, independence, social comfort, and values and decisions.
Camp encourages a respect and love of nature. Because of the special environment at camp, children have fun learning about themselves and the natural world. It also gives them a chance to be "unplugged." More and more experts are demonstrating the value of time spent in nature for children – and camp is a perfect place to do that.
Better than a new piece of sports gear, camp provides the opportunity for children to stay physically active. Camp programs have traditionally offered – and continue to offer – physical activities and sports that enhance health and teach self-confidence. From kayaking to swimming to challenge and ropes courses, camp is the ultimate outdoor sports experience.
Last year, more than 10 million children and youth benefited from a camp experience. With over 2,400 ACA-Accredited® day and resident camps, it is easier than ever to find a camp that is committed to health and safety and that is perfect for the special child in your life.
Consider adding camp to your holiday traditions. Camp creates skills and memories that last a lifetime. Every child deserves the gift of camp.