6 things a summer camp experience will do for your child

By Kristopher Kihlstadius

Every parent has some anxiety about sending their child to summer camp alone for the first time. Maybe you’re worried that your camper won’t get enough sleep or they won’t be able to make friends. Your camper might have a disability or sensitivity that needs to be cared for. This article will help alleviate some of that anxiety for you and inform you of what you can expect from their time at camp.

Physical Activity

Firstly, your child will be spending a lot of time outdoors and doing activities. They will be outside getting sun and fresh air. Depending on the camp there will be many different activities going on throughout the week. Some camps have lakes the campers will be swimming in almost every day. Rest assured, your camper will have a lot of healthy exercise.

Escape From Technology

This relates closely to the previous point but deserves its own point. In today’s world, kids are very closely integrated with technology. Though I don’t need to tell you about it, because you have already seen it. Camp provides a great way to get your kids away from technology for a while. During their time at camp they can finally be free from the unexpected burden a phone can have on them.


Most camps will split their campers into cabins or groups for the week. These groups will spend most of their time together; they will be having meals together, playing games together, doing special activities, and sleeping together. During their time at camp they will have lots of time to make friends and get to know the other kids. Personally, I’ve made some great long-term friends at my time at camp.

Role Models

In my opinion, one of the greatest parts of camp is the counselors. These young men and women serve the campers during their visit. They do this by leading them through games and activities, guiding them through their nervous first day, and most importantly, providing them a young but mature role model that they can look up to. Sometimes it’s hard for young campers to follow older role models. Allowing them to have a younger role model they can relate to is a very beneficial experience.


Every camp has a daily schedule that they follow to some extent. By the end of their time at camp, the campers will have mostly memorized this schedule and it has become their norm. Most religious camps have times set for morning or personal devotions. This all contributes to your camper having an increased structure to their life. Your role as a parent is to help them keep this good structure and personal devotion time at home.

Skill Learning

Many camps have different skill activities campers do throughout the week. For example, archery, rock climbing, sailing & canoeing, and woodworking are some of the skills that Camp Nathanael offer. Young campers are rapidly learning new things and discovering what they like. These activities can help campers discover new interests and hobbies. Even if the skill isn’t for them, it helps teach them valuable life-skills.


When many kids go to summer camp for the first time, they are young and don’t have much experience being away from home. Camp is a great place for young kids to be able to learn how to be independent. They will learn to have responsibilities around camp, as well as be responsible for their own personal spaces’ cleanliness. Many campers haven’t stayed many nights away from home. Camp is a great safe place for them to experience nights away from home with other kids.

I hope that this article has been helpful for you as a parent, both to comfort your worries and help encourage you. You can trust that your child’s time at camp will be well spent. They will: have physical exercise, have freedom from technology, socialize with other kids, learn from great role models, practice a structured schedule outside of school and home, investigate new skills and interests, and gain more independence.