We always hear about summer camp being romanticized, being a part of the "good old days," and an essential part of childhood. However, with different financial situations, time, and just general commitments and scheduling, parents don't seem to prioritize it.
Personally, if I didn't go to summer camp, my life and perspectives would be completely different. I can gladly thank camp for boosting my confidence, getting me to try new things, learning how to make friends and balance a schedule, and eventually turning me into the young adult I am today.
Camp has given me everything. There is so much more to a childhood than being in school for nine months, then sitting around for three months of summer. Doesn't life begin at the end of your comfort zone?
Camp really pushed me to my limits and exposed me to so many ideas. I had no idea I had even the slightest interest in musical theatre until summer camp. Heck, I barely knew what it was.
I was totally aquaphobic until camp. I wouldn't DARE go near a lake or pool. Now? You can't get me out of the water.
I gained the confidence to be my nerdy self from camp. It impacted me so much that I became a counselor so that I could give these experiences to other kids.
You can't expect a kid to grow and explore new things about the world and themselves in an extremely controlled environment with little exposure to the outdoors, different kids of different backgrounds and abilities, different ideas, and a variety of social situations.
Did you know that you can find all of these things in one spot? Yes! It's called summer camp!
Also, did you know that most summer camps, generally set outdoors, are fighting disease? Yeah, it's called Nature Deficit Disorder. No, I'm not making it up. Find out more about it, here.
Due to the way kids are growing up now with their eyes practically glued to a screen, they aren't as exposed to nature as previous generations were. This is linked to trouble paying attention and an increase in physical illnesses, emotional illnesses, and obesity.
Want to find out how to make sure your kids don't suffer? Send them to summer camp.
It seems like a very easy solution. In fact, why don't all parents send their child to summer camp? Nowadays, lack of financial support tends to get in the way of a bigger financial commitment such as camp.
Luckily, I have good news.
There are a TON of programs out there that feel the same way I do. Every child deserves summer camp. It doesn't matter what your financial status is or where you come from; the experience of summer camp is priceless and should be available to all.
There are these great scholarships that kids can get for summer camp, or "camperships" if you will. How do you find them? The easiest thing to do is Google "campership" or call your local camps to see what partnerships or programs they have to help fund a camper's life-changing experience.
I would not be who I am if it weren't for summer camp. It's the summer camps that run on limited tech and push kids to be better versions of themselves that give me hope for the future generations. I hope that one day, all kids will have the opportunities that I did because of camp.