With the amazing shift in the weather this weekend, one can’t help but think about summer and not be excited that it’s almost here. School’s out, hot sun, lazy days at the beach, ice cream cones… and summer camp! Speaking of which, here at The Open Bench Project, we have several camps scheduled this June, July and August for kids ages 9 – 13. While we’re going to be doing some amazing things, like building a 3D printer, there’s more to the summer camp experience than just the take-home project, according to the experts.
Leaders in child development have long been saying that children need more space where having fun is a daily requirement and where structure provides children a chance to interact with positive role models who have time to listen, talk, relax and reflect. Camp meets these needs by providing an environment where kids learn to work together, make choices, take responsibility, develop creative skills, build independence and self-reliance, and gain confidence. All are necessary steps on a child’s path to a healthy, productive life.
“The building blocks of self-esteem are belonging, learning, and contributing. Camps offer unique opportunities for children to succeed in these three vital areas and even beyond home and school.” -Michael Popkin, Ph.D., family therapist and founder of Active Parenting
Additionally, learning new skills at camp makes a child realize how capable he or she is to learn and grow. According to the American Camp Association, 92 percent of kids who attend camp say that the people at camp helped them feel good about themselves. That makes sense, because camp takes the best of family, school, and extracurricular activities and meshes them into a singular program that tunes itself to each child in a low-pressure, fun setting. Add the optimal supervision of positive role models and it’s a community designed just for them.
“The biggest plus of camp is that camps help young people discover and explore their talents, interests, and values. Most schools don’t satisfy all these needs. Kids who have had these kinds of (camp) experiences end up being healthier and have less problems which concern us all.” -Peter Scales, Ph.D., noted author/educator, and Senior Fellow, The Search Institute
While we’re really excited to practice the art of linking action and reaction with Rube Goldberg machines and learn to create one of the fastest growing tools for makers, the most important result will be making a difference in the lives of the kids this summer at The Open Bench Project. Sign up now and see you there!
And then some,
Your friends @OBP
Links to Camps: