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Why your child needs to attend summer camp this year

What could splashing around in the pool, field trips to the zoo and talent shows really do for your child this summer? The answer: wonders. Enrolling children in summer camp drastically improves social skills, lessens summer learning loss and promotes healthy living. Not to mention, you’ll never have to hear the phrase “I’m bored” again.
 
For nine months out of the year, a child’s social protocol is determined by their schooling. At summer camp, the social and learning environment is more relaxed, fun-loving and collaborative. Shy children are given ample time to open up and interact with others and under these different conditions, a child may feel a greater sense of belonging. Parents are likely to find their children engaging with others and strengthening current relationships with ease after a summer at camp. Counselors also influence social conduct, campers look up to counselors and mimic their social behavior. While summer activities like obstacle courses and games of kickball may seem like they’re just for fun, they allow children to learn, bond and engage in teambuilding.
 
“Watching the kids build friendships on their own is one of my favorite aspects of camp,” said Keri DeBowes, Director of Family Life at the YMCA of South Palm Beach County. “Creating an environment that promotes independence encourages social connections.”
 
Another big concern for parents is summer learning loss. It is estimated that students can lose up to three months of grade-level equivalency over the summer months and in turn become set back in the next school year. Summer camp lessens the risk of learning loss with educational programming such as field trips to local museums and zoo’s and creative exercises like arts and crafts and talent shows.
 
Camps offer all types of outdoor activities like sports, swimming and hiking. Many children discover their affinity for activities after experiencing them at summer camp. Campers may feel a sense of achievement when daily tasks are celebrated at camp. In addition, many activities have an educational component; campers can learn how to ride a bike or the correct posture to jump from the high dive.
 
Help your child create lasting friendships, participate in thought-provoking activities and enjoy the outdoors at summer camps. Many camps have age-appropriate groups that challenge campers at every level. The YMCA of South Palm Beach County offers traditional camps (for ages 5-11), teen camp (ages 12-15), Leaders in Training camp (ages 12-15), sports camps (ages 3-17), aquatic camps (ages 5-14), fitness camps (ages 10+) and pre-school camps (ages 3-5). To contact the YMCA of South Palm Beach County visit http://www.ymcaspbc.org/ or contact Keri DeBowes (Boynton Beach) at 561-536-1419 or Bryan Hunt (Boca Raton) at 561-237-0949.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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