Summer is approaching. While my son will be in school until Memorial Day weekend, it’s already time to start putting together our summer schedule. Summer camp registration is open for the 4-H/USU camps, and I am looking into the sports camps run by the locally owned sport and racquet club. And, of course, he’s already signed up for youth baseball.
We save up all year so that my son can do three or four week-long day camps, as well as pay for baseball. For us, it’s important for him to be occupied in some way for the summer — especially since the summer time turns my work schedule upside down. But it’s more than just my work schedule; it’s also about providing an outlet for my son.
Benefits to Summer Camp
So far, we haven’t sent my son away to a summer camp where he sleeps over (although that’s coming, I’m sure). For now, it’s just day camps. There are some reasons that we send him to day camp — beyond ensuring that I have some concentrated time to work each day. Some of these reasons include:
- Education: Most of the summer camps we send our son to are have an educational component. This year, he’s doing a LEGO robotics camp, where he will learn basic programming as well as build a simple robot, and a dinosaur camp, where he will learn about fossils. This keeps his mind working throughout the summer, and keeps him in good learning shape for the fall.
- Activity: The sports camp and the outdoor camp that my son will participate in this summer (as well as the baseball league) will provide good physical activity. We’ll go for bike rides and hikes, and go camping this summer, but having additional activity is good for him, and will ensure that he has healthy exercise — and sleeps well at night.
- Social interaction: My son gets tired of having to hang out with me all day. Summer camps give him a chance to interact with kids his own age during the summer. It’s a great way for him to practice social skills, and make new friends.
Of course, it’s not necessary to use a summer camp to achieve the above goals. And, not everyone thinks it’s worth it to save up the money for kids’ summer programs. There are a number of ways to encourage learning, activity, and social interaction throughout the summer. You can create your own projects at home, and encourage your children to do what they can to improve their social skills with kids in the neighborhood.
Many communities also have a number of programs and activities that children can do for free, or for a small cost. There are a number of fun things for kids to do during the summer, and you can enjoy family activities. I use summer camps as a supplement to family activities. Most of the summer camps my son attends take place from 9 a.m. to noon, and they only account for three to four weeks out of the 12-week summer. But they offer me a chance to get work done, and give my son a chance to get out of the house.
What do your kids do during the summer?