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9 Reasons Teens Should Go to Camp



 

Parents may think of summer camp primarily as a place to send elementary-age kids so they’ll make friends and learn new things. Maybe you don’t think your teen needs summer camp. He should be babysitting, mowing lawns, working at the pool or hanging around with friends, right? Well, sure, butwhy not send him off for a week or more of summer fun and learning, too?

Discover the great benefits teens can get from summer camp.

1. They learn how to give back.
Community-service camps offer a great chance for your teen to make a difference and help out in the community while she also learns skills that will carry her through life. Maybe your teen will learn how to pack food for the homeless, teach kids how to read or clean up a playground. She could even learn how to build a house for someone in need.

2. They make new friends.
Making new friends enriches one’s life at any age. Some teens attend the same camp every summer and might find the same friends there year after year. Many attend a new camp for the first time and need to hone their social skills to get to know other kids outside of a school setting. The close proximity that campers are in for days or weeks helps them get closer more quickly.

3. They learn new things.
Whether your teen attends a camp to learn more about horses, experience adventure or learn a specific sport, he has an entire day, week or summer to focus on that activity and immerse himself in it. Who knows? Your teen might find a new passion that he never thought of before that could be helpful in his educational or work life down the road.

4. They can deepen their faith.
If your teen enjoys church youth-group activities, a church camp might be the ticket. Each camp day might involve a church service in addition to time spent with like-minded campers doing things like memorizing Bible verses for a competition at the end of the week.

5. They can develop a hobby.
When your child unplugs from technology, she can focus on a new interest. You can find camps for animal lovers, sports lovers, Boy or Girl Scouts ... the list goes on!

6. They work as a team.
Your child will meet kids of different ages who come from different backgrounds. Camp reinforces how to get along and work as a team, which are important life skills. Some camps even have kids do team-building and trust activities to help campers get to know each other.

7. They stay active.
When teens attend summer camp, they get to ditch the technology and go hiking, paddle boating, swimming and more.

8. They stand on their own.
Let’s face it: As our kids get older, they start to grow away from us as they prepare to head out on their own. They are stuck between childhood and adulthood, and it’s a confusing time. Going away to camp teaches teens independence.

9. They appreciate life at home more.
Away from the creature comforts of home, teens can more easily focus on nature as well as new skills and relationships. Teens will come home from camp with a new appreciation for things like a full pantry that’s open all day, their comfy bed and privacy.

As for the rest of the summer? Well, your teen can do those odd jobs to help pay for camp next year!


Kerrie McLoughlin is a mom of five. Find her at TheKerrieShow.com

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