If you ask parents of children who have attended summer camp, you’ll likely hear them describe how more confident and mature their children were when they returned home. The American Camp Association says that camp gives children three key benefits: confidence, curiosity and character. Camp fosters respect for other campers, a sense of community, support for trying new things and the ability to think critically and solve problems independently and collaboratively.
Discover some tips to help your children hold onto the benefits of summer camp throughout the year.
Remember and Remind
Kids can keep the spirit of camp alive for a week or two after they return home, but the optimistic attitude can wear off over time. Use positive reinforcement to remind them about their camp experience. Explain to them that you appreciate their positive attitude and willingness to help that they developed while attending summer camp.
Give Your Kids a Voice
At camp, children help determine how they’ll spend their days with activities. Camp counselors often seek their input, which makes them feel like collaborators. Emulating this environment at home gives your children the opportunity to continue to speak up for themselves and feel like they are a contributing member of their household.
Avoid the Negative-Sounding Compliment
If you’re not careful, you can easily dismiss the positive differences in your child’s post-camp behavior. Instead of saying, “You never did this before,” instead say, “I noticed how patient you were when I asked you to read to your little brother.”
Ultimately, let your child know that confidence, helpfulness and independence remain important traits to have. When you do, you’ll help keep that summer camp feeling to last throughout the year.