Summer camp sailboats.jpg?ixlib=rails 2.1

While one of the most important aspects of summer camp is the opportunity for children to decompress after long school years and relax, another benefit of summer camp is the ability for children to expand their experiences and pursue excellence in new ways.

In a traditional school setting group projects or team sports can help a child learn to be a part of a team, time at a summer camp takes this to the next level. Whether it be in a bunk at sleepaway camp or in an age group at day camp, campers spend a majority of each day with the same group of people. They learn to interact with each other in respectful ways, help each other at activities or sports that one might not be skilled in but another excels, and work on solving problems together.

On the other side of that coin, camp gives a child a space to become more independent. It’s a time away from the structure of family, and while they have support around them there are activities and problems they will have to work through on their own.

Best summer camp in america.jpg?ixlib=rails 2.1

Camp also provides a unique opportunity to expand interests. A typical week sees a camper go to a wide variety of activities from arts and crafts to the rock wall to the waterfront and everywhere in between. Baseball players find out they have an interest in art, and smiles fill musicians faces when they learn how to stand up on a paddleboard. All of these experiences can help to inspire campers to learn more.

Nearly every camp also has at least one, but often many, opportunities for campers to compete and help their team. Be it color war, a boys camp vs girls camp contest, or even just extra canteen campers are often at their best when they have something on the line and push themselves to be the best version of them they can be.