Glen Ellyn Park District summer camps provide amazing experiences for kids

  • Tweens participate in the Glen Ellyn Park District's "Turf & Surf Camp," one of the over 50 camps offered by the park district.

    Tweens participate in the Glen Ellyn Park District's "Turf & Surf Camp," one of the over 50 camps offered by the park district. Courtesy of Glen Ellyn Park District

 
 
Updated 3/26/2018 5:45 PM

If you ask any adult about their favorite memories from growing up, there's a good chance they'll mention summer camp. The carefree days of making friends, learning new skills and hobbies, enjoying nature, and "roughing it" made a huge positive impact in the lives of many children throughout the years. Today, summer camps are offered in a wide variety of categories and lengths, providing flexibility so families can fit them into their summer schedules.

The benefits of summer camps have been highly touted for decades. Campers gain advantages in both school and in life in general. As summer camp is a community unto itself, it offers kids a chance to learn to work with each other and with older or adult mentors, and to build friendships that may last their entire lives.

 

Campers are provided with opportunities for physical exercise, creative expression, and mental stimulation. Kids are exposed to new activities, sports, and games, some of which may develop into a lifelong interest. Learning new skills helps kids build confidence and self-esteem, leading to strong character and leadership development. Kids also develop a personal sense of pride and self-reliance by overcoming obstacles like homesickness, and by working on and mastering a skill that pushes them outside their comfort zone.

Another benefit of summer camps is that they keep kids engaged mentally, helping to reduce the loss of learning momentum over the summer months. Camps that offer educational opportunities, especially in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), enhance problem-solving skills and offer interactive learning experiences. There is a wide variety of topics that summer camps focus on, including robotics, art, music, astronomy, nature, video game design, cooking, sports, and even Legos, improvisation and comedy, magic, and sewing.

As our society becomes increasingly focused on social media and other digital distractions, summer camp offers kids a chance to disconnect, slow down, and focus on other more valuable learning experiences. With the absence of the social pressures of school, camp offers kids the opportunity to make new friends. They also have the chance to spend time outdoors, and to learn more about nature and the world they live in.

Summer camp offers an environment where kids discover the need for teamwork, and they learn how to problem-solve with others. Teamwork fosters feelings of acceptance and belonging, and of contributing to a larger project, which in turn increases self-esteem and confidence.

Summer camps are recognized by many as providing valuable experiences that help children mature socially, intellectually, and emotionally. Many campers, as they get older, become counselors at summer camps because they had wonderful experiences as campers when they were younger.

To view this year's summer camp offerings at the Glen Ellyn Park District, visit www.gepark.org. Resident registration for summer camps is open now. Non-resident registration begins at 8:30 a.m. Monday, April 2.

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