Psychological Benefits of Camp

Summer camp is a place filled with magic, memories and special moments. Children are able to openly express themselves and their personalities can truly shine. They discover talents and interests. They build creativity and social skills. Children really get a chance to explore and play. The wonderful Fred Rogers said, “Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” Many schools are starting to incorporate more play into the curriculum again, but the majority of a child’s school year is spend sitting, focusing and working. The summer is a time to breathe fresh air into their minds and spirit.
img_0037We recently came across an article from the American Camp Association where experts in the field came together to discuss the benefits of summer camp from a psychological standpoint. You can find the whole article here, but five key factors we took away from it are:

  1. Physical activity“Camp is one of the few institutions where young people can experience and satisfy their need for physical activity…” – Peter Scales, Ph.D. We provide numerous opportunities for our campers to get out and be active. We have fitness activities ranging from zumba, karate, soccer, track and field, water games and more.
  2. Discover talents“The biggest plus of camp is that camps help young people discover and explore their talents, interests and values. Most schools don’t satisfy all these needs. Kids who have had these kinds of experiences end up being healthier and have less problems…” – Peter Scales, Ph.D. Beyond our activities, we offer opportunities for our campers to find their joy and express themselves. They are engaged throughout the day in play, where they can truly find their talent.
  3. Positive self-esteem“What makes camp a special community is its focus on celebrating effort. In this less pressured atmosphere, children learn more readily what positive things to say and do when they make mistakes and face challenges” – Michael BrandweinCelebration happens on a daily basis during our morning show. We take time to celebrate little successes and gains campers have made. We praise positive efforts and make each camper feel valued.
  4. Healthy Development“Camp activities and living in a natural environment are the tools used to create camp communities that provide for successful, healthy development and a place where having fun is a daily criterion” – ACAOur day camp is so unique, because it offers a sleepaway camp experience. Our amazing campus makes everyday feel like a vacation.
  5. Sense of community – “Summer camp is a valuable resource for giving children teh value of belonging to a community of their own…the critically important sense of community is rooted in enabling and empowering children to be belonging, cooperating, contributing and caring citizens” – ACA Each camp is special and unique in their own way. Our camp has been around since 1958, for 59 years we have flourished. Our director started as a camper and fell in love with the PCDC community and knew she wanted to make this part of her life. We have grandchildren and children of former campers attending now. Our camp has touched so many lives and truly built that sense of community.

We hope you take some time to read the whole amazing article and also look into the possibility of sending your child to summer camp. As much as we would love to have you here with us at Pine Crest Day Camp, we just want your child to experience the benefits of camp wherever is best suited for them. Please feel free to call us at 954-776-2137 for specific questions at our camp or to come schedule a campus tour. Have a great summer!

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