Camp is not often thought of as a learning place – it’s seen as fun, exciting and active. But from years of watching campers we know that campers are often learning even though they don’t realize it!
1. Campers learn to be creative.
At camp we often have activities and games that require kids to create, whether it be making a team flag, planning a team cheer, or developing a cabin skit. But the place where we are often surprised to see creativity are during our wide games. We see kids trying methods to be successful at their task that we would not have thought of! We like to see campers belling crawling through grass, sneaking balloons in their pockets, or forming a human wall, all in an effort to get to without catching them!
2. Campers learn to self-entertain.
Though we run a very busy schedule and keep our campers occupied, there are always moments here and there throughout the day that the schedule lapses and we have a bit of a break. It is in these times that we see kids playing games like “ninja”, swinging on the rope swing, or singing “stella stella olla”. In a culture that has become focussed on busyness and instant entertainment, it is fun to see kids using their imagination to come up with ways to have fun without any technology or planned activity!
3. Campers learn to work together.
We provide many opportunities for campers to work as a team. From the beginning of the week they are divided into four teams and on those teams they develop a team name, cheer, and flag. It is these teams that compete with each other throughout the week through activities, games, and challenges. It is always interesting to see that at the beginning of the week the kids are just getting comfortable with each other, and then by the end of the week they have learned to solve problems and be successful as a true team!
4. Campers learn to stretch their boundaries.
Camp in general is a very new experience – especially for first time campers. It is a new place, new people, new activities, and a new schedule. All of this “newness” allows campers to try new things and make new friends. Activities that they may normally not be interested in trying may suddenly become their new favourite. People that may seem unfamiliar become great friends. A new place and a new way of living may become the new favourite. We love to see kids becoming comfortable in a new place and experience and we think it is a great opportunity to see campers stretching their limits.
5. Campers learn to make friends.
This is a unique point, as it can be argued that when our campers arrive, they already know how to make friends! And we would agree, but at the same time, we think that camp changes how people make friends and who they make friends with. Camp is outside of the societal norm and we often see people making friends that maybe wouldn’t interact in normal everyday life. We see kids making friends quickly and we see them being inclusive and making sure that everyone feels welcome and accepted. We love to see campers caring for each other and making sure that everyone has a place and is included! We think this is really the best way to make friends!