I had the most amazing opportunity to attend Pine Grove Day Camp for four years of my life. While it seems like such a small amount of time, those four summers gave me social, emotional, physical, and personal skills that I still use today. Here's all the way that Summer Camp can change your life.

You meet new people!

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Sure- school friends are great. But having the opportunity to meet people you may have never met offers connections that can last a lifetime. My summer camp wasn't even in my hometown, so everyone I met was new! Lucky for me, one of those people happened to become my best friend who I still talk to daily, after ten years.

You never know what kind of connections you may make, and how they may help you later in life! A potential employee, boss, or even spouse could be there.

New Challenges!

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Some challenges that one faces at summer camp may seem small- coming out of your shell, meeting new people, or even being away from home. But even these little things are skills that can help you forever. Camp is also an opportunity to face your fears- heights, water, the dark? Every summer camp will not only push you to your limits, but will help you overcome fears and be proud of what you've done.

Find Your Passions!

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With no homework, no required reading, no studying or tutors- camp allows you to take full time to have fun and experience those things. With everything mentioned above, kids will be able to start to find what is really important to them. They mind find a new love of a new sport, realize their artistic side, or realize how much they love nature. This can grow from liking, to hobby, to passion, and to a possible career later in life.

Break out of Gender Norms!

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​Yes, most camps will break up campers into groups of boy and girl campers. But that doesn't mean that boys cant love arts and crafts, girls cant love mountain biking, and so on. Girls are allowed to truly get down and dirty, to experience the full extent of nature and camp, without fear of being told they were "unladylike". Likewise, boys can do crafts, cooking, or ceramics without fear of being told they're acting to feminine. Its a time for all kids to have fun without restraints of societal norms.

Teamwork!

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All of camp is family- but your group is like your home. The fellow campers in your group are like your brothers or sisters. This undeniable sense of unity not only brings out friendships and connections, but the ability to work together as well. Ice breakers and team building activities are huge. But so are competitions! Camp is about rewarding success, and there's nothing like racing across a pool in a pool noodle horse race to win ice cream at the end of the day to foster that ability to work together. Everyone works as a whole to better the experience, and the chance of winning, of the team. But win or lose- the ability to cooperate as a whole is a prize in itself.

Have fun!

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Sure- you will learn so much at camp. Connections, strengths, talents, teamwork and more. But above all...It really is fun! Kids work hard all school year. They deserve to have an awesome summer. They deserve to yell and cheer, to get covered in paint and dirt and jump in the pool. To create friendship bracelets and participate in silly games.

Memories that will last FOREVER!

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​Camp will impact you forever. Take it from me- my first year of camp was when I was 10. I am now almost 21, and I'm writing an article about camp. Clearly it had left an impact! Kids will take everything they learned, the friendships they made, and the memories there and carry them forever. They will look back on these times in high school, college, and beyond. It will forever impact them with a smile on their face.

I am so happy to be returning to camp. This time- not as a camper, but as a counselor. I get to watch kids grow, make connections, and find their passions. I get to be the counselor that they talk about years down the line. I am so excited to go back. So you- reading this article! Send your kid to camp, or go yourself, as a counselor!

It will stick with you. 4 Life.