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Article Published June 7, 2019
Summer Camp is an Experience of a Lifetime for Children and Teens
This story was provided Valley Shore YMCA, located at 201 Spencer Plain Road, Westbrook.

Exploring nature, gaining new experiences, and making new friends are just some of the benefits of participating in a quality summer camp program. As summer fast approaches, it is important to remind parents and families that camping is a unique and invaluable experience for children and teens.

Getting a summer break from learning in school doesn't mean that kids should not spend the summer learning outside the classroom. At camp, campers learn how to be responsible and resourceful, work in groups, solve problems, and make decisions that will help them grow as individuals—all while having fun.

Nearly 50 percent of U.S. parents say technological distractions, such as television, cell phones, or video games make it difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle for their children, according to the findings of a national YMCA Family Health Snapshot, a survey that gauges children's activity levels during the school year. With more free time in summer, ensuring that kids practice healthy habits could be a greater challenge.

Attending summer camp is a wonderful opportunity for kids to keep their minds and bodies active.  When at camp, kids get to learn about nature, take on new responsibilities, gain independence, and develop essential social skills and new relationships.

Youth development experts agree that children need a variety of experiences in their lives to help them grow into healthy adolescents and adults. The camp experience is uniquely positioned to provide children with:

Adventure: Summer camp is all about a wide variety of fun adventures and new experiences, and especially exploring the outdoors.

New Experiences: Day and resident camps are about learning outside of school, exploring and appreciating the outdoors, developing new skills, making friends, and showing leadership.

Personal Growth: While being away from the routine back home, youth have a chance to develop confidence and independence by taking on new responsibilities and challenges.

New Friendships: Amidst the fun of camp games, songs, swimming, canoeing, and talent shows, campers meet new friends.

Memories: Summer camp is an unforgettable experience that will give each camper memories (and campfire stories) that will last a lifetime.

See you at camp this summer!

This story was provided by Valley Shore YMCA, located at 201 Spencer Plain Road, Westbrook. For more information, call 860-399-9622 or visit vsymca.org.