Based on my experience as a camp counselor and as an individual who had the privilege of attending many camps when I was younger, I recognize the benefits camps have on children. Not only do children get the chance to interact with other kids, they learn independence and social skills in many aspects. Here at We Are Coaches, we take pride in our knowledge of working with children. Our coaches not only have experience with children and the ocean but in addition, they enjoy their job as a camp counselor. Our supervisors are certified teachers and have an immense amount of experience with different aged children. Peg Windisch, the founder of We Are Coaches states, “Our happiest moments are when we so often hear parents say that their child’s best summer experience was at our camp!”
Among the various positive benefits, attending camps exposes children to diversity, nature, and positive encouragement. When asking Peg why she personally believes camps are a positive experience for children she responds, “The outdoor camp experience allows children to interact with their natural surroundings in a natural way. I believe healthy development occurs during these interactions.”
Camps allow children to become exposed to a diverse group of people- including age, gender, social status, ethnicity, and more. Diversity is important because it creates curiosity within individuals. Diversity gives people, especially children, an insight into how and why things work the way they do. Because We Are Coaches is a non-profit, we offer scholarships to those who cannot afford to attend camp. This helps us create a welcoming, loving, and accepting environment for all of our campers. Learning about and experiencing diversity is important for children because it teaches them tolerance and acceptance. Children will make new friends and build strong relationships.
In our Aqua-Adventures Camps, children are immersed in nature through the water, sand castle building, scavenger hunts, and other outdoor activities. Nowadays children spend much less time outside. Outdoor play is extremely important for everyone especially children. Early Childhood News wrote an article about this. Here they stated, “The outdoors has something more to offer than just physical benefits. Cognitive and social/emotional development are impacted, too. Outside, children are more likely to invent games. As they do, they’re able to express themselves and learn about the world in their own way. They feel safe and in control, which promotes autonomy, decision-making, and organizational skills.”
Bob Ditter, a licensed clinical social worker specializing in child and adolescent treatment, says, “It is in the crucible of this community that children gain self-esteem with humility, overcome their inflated sense of self, and develop a lifelong sense of grace and wonder.” We believe encouraging children is super important! Kids who are happy with themselves will treat others better. They will not only respect and value themselves but others as well. Our counselors are constantly encouraging our campers to try new things and accomplish their learning goals. High-fives, cheering, clapping, peer support, and words of encouragement are some of the way we empower our campers! Our coaches are healthy role models for children of all ages.
“Earlychildhood NEWS – Article Reading Center.” Earlychildhood NEWS – Article Reading Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 July 2015. (http://www.earlychildhoodnews.com/earlychildhood/article_view.aspx?ArticleID=275)
“Benefits of Camp: Psychological Aspects.” Benefits of Camp: Psychological Aspects. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 July 2015. (http://www.acacamps.org/media-center/benefits-of-camp/psychological-aspects)