Why teens benefit from summer camps in a way that helps them grow & achieve...
Summer camps offer more than just distraction for kids & teens - something to keep you busy with your parents are at work. Camps open you up to exercises, techniques, & different points of view that are essential in the process of growing up and finding your own voice.
No where is this more true than camps specifically designed for teens entering or in the throws of high school. There are many reasons why high school students benefit from summer camps in ways that will serve you as you enter college, adulthood, the work force, and beyond:
Promotes independence & resilience - spending time away from home & established friendship dynamics encourages you to step out of your own comfort zone. Being a fish out of water has its benefits - it forces you to recognize yourself outside of your usual sphere of influence. This allows you to rely more on yourself and trust your intuition in a way that supports an independent approach to problem solving.
Develop communication skills - students who work frequently with others from different cliques, schools, hometowns, socio-economic statuses, etc know how to communicate with others with different life experiences and backgrounds. This is essential when going to college or getting a job, moving to a new school or even preparing a theatre scene. The more experience you have working and understanding others points of view, the easier it is to collaborate with others and have people be open and receptive to you.
Nurture leadership skills - once you have experience working side-by-side with others with different approaches and point of view, it becomes second nature to see how a variety of pieces can come together to create a whole. This ability to apply your own know-how, while simultaneously seeing, celebrating, and utilizing the skills of others around you is a hallmark of leadership.
Discover & explore talents - the opportunity to explore a topic or activity that speaks to you on a personal level is a great way to discover your talents and interests outside those encountered in school. Whether it's a science camp, sports camp, outdoor camp, or a performing arts camp (hi there!) - summer camps inspire you to try something new, exciting, and thought-provoking. It may even help you zero in on what to pursue in higher education and beyond.
Strengthen college resumes - this is critical for older students who are planning how to make their transcripts stand out to the colleges of their choice. Apart from good grades, colleges and universities are interested to see what you do in your free time - how you continue to learn and develop outside of school. If you know what you are looking to specialize in once you graduate high school - finding a summer camp that heightens and challenges your understanding in the field will stand out to college admission advisers and further encourage (or discourage - that's okay too) your interest in that major or concentration and determine if it's a good fit. (Looking to pursue the performing arts in college? Make sure you know the steps to a great college audition HERE.)
This summer, take the opportunity to explore your creativity and problem-solving skills, your vulnerabilities and strengths, how you relate to others and yourself, and how to get out of your comfort zone. The benefits are endless - and go beyond even those mentioned here.
Summer camps not only provide a time away from gadgets, apps, TV, and boredom - it's a chance for you to connect with others your own age, who are going through the same benchmarks of maturity, all while finding your own confidence and power that will serve you now and in the future.
"Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn." -Benjamin Franklin
Never stop learning,