The Benefits of Summer Camp
When we tell people that our full-time job is working at a summer camp, their response is usually something like, “Whoa, that is so awesome! That must be the coolest job ever!” Yes, we do have the greatest job there is! Summer forever is what everyone dreams of, and well, we get that! But, it’s not just that we get to be outside in the sun all day, or do activities, or even hop on a boat once in a while. It’s the passion we have for what the camp experience does for others and the benefits children gain from attending camp.
Since our first summer in 1968, camp has changed a lot including our property, activities offered, number of campers, etc., but one thing that has not changed is how camp impacts kids’ lives for the better. “Camp” is its own world with its own traditions, lingo, silly songs, and even mascots. The environment at camp has been created with a purpose – to be a “Positive Zone” in which children feel free to be themselves and are encouraged to grow in body, mind and spirit. We are dedicated to bringing that camp experience to life for each child, and it’s an experience unlike any other with so many lasting benefits.
Self-Confidence and Resiliency
We know that the decision to send a child to summer camp is a big step for many parents because parents and campers aren’t connected by phone nor are they able to see and experience everything their campers are doing while at summer camp. While that separation can be tough for parents, campers grow so much from it. Campers get to make their own decisions (with guidance from their counselors)! Those decisions include more trivial decisions like what to wear to more important ones like how to show good sportsmanship. This newfound independence results in more self-confidence and resiliency. While we encourage and celebrate successes, we also treat failures as an opportunity to learn and grow. The old adage, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” is played out at camp on a daily basis. Camp is a place where campers get to try something new or accomplish something they may not have known they could do themselves. This includes working toward a “10” on cabin inspection after initially earning a 5 or learning to get up on water skis after a dozen attempts. The lessons your child will come home with will amaze you and excite you!
Connecting with Others
Camp has always been about connecting with others and building friendships, but for this generation, the need for face-to-face social connections is even more apparent. This generation was born with information at their fingertips. They don’t know life without a mini computer within reach at all times. Playing with friends can mean playing a video game online with someone across the country, whom they have never met in person. Talking with friends has been replaced with texting. Here at Olympia, we pride ourselves on the real connections campers make with others. We are fully unplugged from electronics so campers develop face-to-face communication and social skills with both campers and adults. As a result, campers relate to one another on a deeper, more meaningful level. We often hear campers say that their camp friends, though they may only see them two or three weeks a year, are their best friends who know them the most! Camp friends are the best friends!
Camp Olympia has always believed in the importance of recognition. Acknowledging a child’s success or triumph gives them confidence. Awards at camp are given a wide variety of ways, including earning merits for good deeds, achieving certificates in activities, or winning ribbons in Spartan/Athenian competitions. However, recognition is so much more than being awarded something. Recognition is being recognized. It sounds simple, and it is! We strive to find what is unique about each camper and celebrate it. We want everyone to feel comfortable being themselves at camp. There is no pressure to “be cool” or follow a pack. Like one of our first summer themes, U.B.U. @ Camp Olympia!
We wholeheartedly believe in what summer camp can do for children. We are excited to get to share that with you and your family! Let’s GO!