The Real Reasons Children Love Explorer Kids’ Camps
The benefits of Explorer Kids’ Camps through the eyes of a parent has long been talked about however what do children feel that they gain? A recent study in America focused on the benefits of camp with many stating that camp helped them:
- Make new friends (96%).
- Get to know kids that are different to them (93%).
- Feel better about themselves (92%).
- Do things they were afraid to do at first (74%)
They key is finding a camp that’s truly international and has a clear focus on providing emotional and physical support to their campers …. Explorer Kids’ Camps!
Friendship is the GOLD of Explorer Kids’ Camps
Only a week ago a past camper Toni from Israel sent Explorer Kids’ Camps a picture (see above) entitled “We missed each other too much we had to meet!” Amazingly this young lady had stopped off in Munich to catch up with Lara her best friend from the summer. Their happy embrace was evidence that it was both money and time well spent!
Amazingly this wasn’t the first or even fifth time a camper has gone to such extroadinary lengths to reconnect with a new-found friend from the summer. In fact it occurs every year whether it be an Austrian visiting a Slovene. An Israeli catching up with a Russian. An Italian dropping in on a Englishman. The bonds created on camp go well beyond a summer memory. These international friendships are for life!
Now, we’ll let you in on a secret. Don’t think that these things just magically happen. It’s not like children simply turn up on camp and they’ve immediately got a friend for life. It can be hard work. There may well be disagreements. Misunderstandings. Confusion. Moments of silence. Tears even.
But at the same time there’s laughter. True compassion. Sensitivity. Togetherness. A feeling of belonging. And above all continual growth in their relationship building and social connections skills.
The reality is that making friendships is the most important thing to happen at Explorer Kids’ Camps. And our children are doubly lucky because they have the opportuninty to make these friends from all around the world!
The Beauty of Scheduled FUN at Explorer Kids’ Camps
Remember the old days of carefree play outside in the backyard? Times have changed with a child’s summer evolving into carefully structured day camps, music classes, sports, tutoring sessions and more.
According to Dr. Claire McCarthy, a Harvard Associate Professor of Pediatrics, children shouldn’t be too over-scheduled during their summer vacations. She preaches the benefits of letting kids be kids and sometimes doing nothing.
It’s a conundrum but keeping kids in structured time and rules will in the long run stunt creativity. The reality is that kids need to be bored because out of boredom comes creativity. And we all know how important creativity is for healthy childhood development.
Like most things, it comes down to balance. While having some type of structure is essential in a child’s life, it’s equally important to ensure children have plenty of downtime when they’re home and not out and about. Remember … they only have 18 summers so we need to make it count.
Balancing structure with freedom is a core element of the Explorer Kids’ Camps program. On the one side they’re challenged to try something new, however on the other camper downtime becomes a hugely empowering tool that enables campers to make choices with their day and create their own stories.
As a result campers have the best of both worlds so they can pick and choose how their day will look and progress!
Creating Something Special
“The success of the camp experience is connected almost entirely to the quality of leadership that staff provides,” says Dr. Chris Thurber, a New Hampshire psychologist and renowned camp leadership specialist. “We all know from growing up,” he says, “that there is a ‘cool factor’ other grownups have.” Camp staff members are in a unique position to influence youngsters, Thurber saysDr. Chris Thurber
A staff member can demonstrate “healthy risks or unhealthy risks,” he says. Counselors can “convey an attitude of optimism and creativity and joy, or convey an attitude of pessimism and cynicism.” Thurber says quality staff training makes camps “safer from an emotional standpoint and a physical standpoint” so every effort needs to be made to train exceptionally well.
At Explorer Kids’ Camps staff training has different elements. It in part involves conveying information on a range of areas including behaviour management, child supervision, camp programing and risk management. Methods to prepare staff include:
- Three seperate on-line trainings.
- Two on-site ‘hands on’ trainings.
- On-camp 1st Aid sessions run by Nurse.
- Detailed Counselor Camp Manual.
- Daily Reviews where staff evaluate individual campers, safety of camp etc.
However it also involves helping staff “feel like they are part of something special.” With a Counselor return rate of 100% it shows that all of the staff know that they’re a part of something truly special at Explorer Camps.