The benefits of summer camps for kids

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School is out and the children are free, but parents still have to go to work. Keeping your kids busy doesn’t have to be stressful. Camps that offer activities like field trips, sports and art classes are a great way to keep your child occupied this summer.

Becky Raden, coordinator at Pinckney Pirate Camp, says that getting your child involved in a summer camp can be a great opportunity for them.

“Our goal is that the kids stay active, are having fun and are well supervised because this is their summer vacation,” Raden said.

Pirate Camp, where Raden works, is held at a local public school, which she says is great for many reasons; location to other places in the community, facilities within the school like pools and art rooms as well as services like leaders who are certified teachers.

One of the more unique services that Pirate Camp offers is a certified aid for special-needs campers.

“It’s kind of the prime location,” Raden said. “We have access to tennis courts, the track, the pool, multiple gyms, a rock wall, we have yoga lessons, book clubs, swimming lessons, field trips to the movies and to the beach, art projects, talent shows…”

Allie Harris, a Pirate Camp leader, said that summer camps also keep kids socialized over the summer.

“It’s really good for the kids to continue up their social skills because a lot of kids lose touch. When they don’t have technology, they can’t get in touch with their friends, so it’s a really good way for them to keep their relationships throughout the summer,” Harris said.

Even if the parent is able to stay home for the summer, camps are a great way to keep them active, Colleen Crowell, Pirate Camp director, said. “We have a lot of kids who just come twice or three times a week, and I think that it helps a lot with their socialization skills.”

Adding, another benefit of summer camps is that it keeps kids on a guided schedule. Many times, it’s hard for students to get back into a routine once school starts again in the fall. Summer camps like Pirate Camp like to stick to an organized schedule.

“A camp with structure is important because it keeps the kids used to a set schedule like they are held to during a normal school day.” Crowell said. “The only difference is that, at camp, the activities scheduled are fun.”

Fun, however, doesn’t just have be for the campers. At Pirate Camp, they not only hire certified teachers but also college students who are home for the summer. Griffin McNeilly, a student at Michigan State University, explained how working with kids this summer is a fun experience for him as well.

“It helps me connect with the younger kids, being a good role model, showing them good relationships, while also giving back to the community,” McNeilly said.