Attending an overnight summer camp during summer break is a time honored tradition and right of passage for every American child. Singing along to worship around the campfire, playing lawn games with 100 of your friends, and jumping in the lake after a sweaty game of ultimate frisbee, are all memories made at Clearwater that will last a lifetime. But the benefits of camp go much further than a good time and great memories. Here are 10 more reasons every child should go to summer camp.
1. Try New Things
At Clearwater, campers are encouraged to try new activities and learn new skills every day. Maybe they want to test their aim at the archery range, learn how to DIY a new craft, or finally figure out how to roll a kayak. With plenty of activities to choose from during Camper’s Choice and free time, your child is bound to learn a thing or two and they may even come home with a new hobby!
2. Build Confidence
Hand-in-hand with learning new things comes building confidence. When your child experiences success in new endeavors they will develop a stronger sense of self-confidence and self-esteem. Clearwater Forest is the perfect environment for building confidence with supportive summer staff and an escape from the academic, athletic and social competition they face in school.
3. Foster Independence
Whether it’s your camper’s first week at camp, or they are a returning veteran of Clearwater Forest, each week they spend at camp will have them growing their own independence in ways they may not at home. From tidying up their cabin space to cleaning up after meals and making their own decisions about how to spend their activity time, your camper will come home after a week at camp with a newly developed sense of independence.
4. Develop Social Skills (and make friendships that last a lifetime!)
From team-building with cabin mates, to exploring spirituality in quest groups, sharing meals with new people, participating in activities and learning new skills together, there is no shortage of social interaction at Clearwater. In an environment without the social pressures of school, and where counselors are trained to help children integrate, your camper will have no problems developing their social skills, and will likely come home with a new best friend… or 10!
5. Face Challenges and Learn to Overcome
Life creates obstacles, and the best way to prepare your child is to help them face challenges and learn to overcome. At Clearwater your child might conquer their fear of heights on the high ropes course, overcome shyness by developing close relationships with their cabinmates, or get more comfortable in the water with fun activities like kayaking and stand up paddle boarding. Camp creates a space for courage to flourish and children to come together to help one another thrive.
6. Build Character
Learning new things, developing confidence, independence and social skills is a recipe for building character. At Clearwater, your child will develop strong character, and the building blocks for what it takes to become a future leader.
7. Unplug from Technology
Imagine a place where children and adolescents play lawn games instead of video games, put on skits instead of watching TV, giggle with one another instead of sending “LOL” texts and the only distraction at the dinner table is a spontaneous burst into song…Believe it or not, that place exists at Clearwater!
8. Get Physically Active
With over 1,000 acres of wooded forests, lawn space and play fields, trekking from activity to activity is part of daily life at Clearwater. It’s important for children and youth to stay active, especially during the summer months when they are not expected to sit at a desk all day, and what better place to get active than the great outdoors! Heck, they will probably be having so much fun, they won’t even realize they are getting exercise.
9. Learn Healthy Lifestyle Habits
Along with practicing independence, campers learn how to take care of themselves and develop healthy lifestyle habits while at camp. From eating a balanced diet to getting lots of exercise and learning to clean up after themselves, at Clearwater, we make it fun to take care of yourself and your space!
10. Reconnect with Nature
Possibly one of the greatest benefits Clearwater offers campers is a chance to reconnect with God’s woods and waters. Spending a week surrounded by nature, walking through forests, and enjoying the peaceful call of the loon while watching the sunset over the lake can really work wonders on a child’s psyche. It may just remind them that there is more fun to be had outdoors than sitting in front of the TV at home!