Contributing Writer: Selena Cucuta
According to the National Wildlife Foundation, the average American boy or girl spends as few as 30 minutes in unstructured outdoor play each day and more than seven hours each day in front of an electric screen. Many kids are out of shape, socially disconnected, easily distracted and anxiety ridden. We are living in a world of Pokemon Go, Snap Chat, Instagram, FB, Twitter, emoji and texting abbreviations like LOL, TTYL, IDEK, NP, K, TY etc.
Camp Hebron’s Cabin & Specialty Camps addresses a societal need to increase the physical activity level of children, get children off the couch and provide an opportunity to unplug from all electronics. Research shows that the current generation of children is one of the most inactive and unhealthy in history. Children who participate in 60 or more minutes of physical activity per day are more likely to have increased muscle strength and endurance. This is the power of camp.
At Camp Hebron kids learn new skills, spend hours a day outdoors, meet new friends, gain independence and hear a message of God’s love. Children these days need camp more than ever! Camp provides children with a unique community of caring counselors and program staff who provide experiential education that encourage campers to pursue self-respect, independence, and appreciation for life.
Activities like swimming, hiking, rock climbing, horseback riding, high & low ropes course, camping and field games are just a few of the events campers will experience. At camp, youth build new friendships, overcome challenges and build character in order to prepare them for bigger, brighter lives down the road. Along with outdoor fun and memories that will last a lifetime, a number of important life skills are learned at summer camp.
Here are five reasons your child should attend summer camp this year:
1. Develop Social Skills
Summer camp teaches kids to communicate. Because we live in such a digital age, children are definitely more connected, but incredibly disconnected when it comes to interpersonal communication and relationships. Most summer camps have a no phone policy, which allows children to live in the moment alongside each other.
2. To Overcome Challenges
Because children feel safe at camp with their counselors and the other campers around them, children tend to be more comfortable taking healthy risks, setting personal goals and recognizing their dreams in life. A girl might attend a horseback riding lesson and come back with a passion for horses, or a boy may have made the final goal during the soccer game and see his potential to join the soccer team back home. Whatever it is, overcoming challenges and pursuing passions at summer camp will help kids accomplish what they want to pursue in life.
3. Build Confidence
Camp builds confidence in campers. We all know campers come in all shapes, sizes, and quirks. Camp is a place where campers are accepted as they are and shown love that school systems and society do not exude. There are no outcasts at camp, everyone is valued. Not to mention, throughout the camp experience there is no safety blanket or crutch— they are doing this individually without mom and dad.
4. Foster Independence
During camp, children learn the responsibility of making their own decisions within the safety net of encouraging and insightful counselors and staff. Children can risk finding out what does and doesn’t work during problem-solving activities. Because camp is such a unique environment, peers can provide support that will allow children to overcome obstacles they are facing. This takes place whether out on a low ropes team-building, or through conversation around the campfire.
5. Experience a New Adventure
Summer camp plays a unique roll in guiding children out of their comfort zone and exposes them to new activities and experiences that are unfamiliar. Hiking, challenge courses, rock wall and horseback riding are fun, creative and invigorating experiences that make camp so unique and enjoyable.
With these opportunities, children can grow stronger as individuals as they pursuing passions, fun activities and friendships through their summer camp experience.
Are you considering sending your child to summer camp this year? The staff at Camp Hebron would love to supply you with information about our camps and programs. Camp Hebron is a Christian Camp and Conference Center located in Halifax, PA along the Appalachian Trail just north of Harrisburg. We have 340 acres of land and host a variety of summer camps and programmed events all year long.
Visit us at www.camphebron.org for more information on how your child can enjoy summer camp at Camp Hebron.