We often associate summer camp with young children, but as kids grow up, we may forget that they need some of the same experiences they enjoyed when they were younger. Maybe you think your teen doesn’t need summer camp. After all, shouldn’t your son or daughter be mowing lawns or lifeguarding at the pool? They can still do these activities and enjoy a week away (or longer!) for summer fun and learning.
Here are seven reasons why you should still send your teen to summer camp.
Teens can learn about giving back
Camps that promote community-service opportunities provide a great way for teens to make a difference and give back to their community. Maybe your teen will get to pack boxes at the food bank or clean up a park or playground. At the same time, they’ll be learning skills that they can carry with them throughout life.
Teens can make new friends
Summer camp often brings together individuals from different backgrounds and places. Attending a new camp can be a great way to expose your teen to new perspectives and life experiences and build what could be lifelong friendships, while returning to the same summer camp every year fosters familiarity and solidarity.
Teens can explore their faith together
Church youth camps and religious-affiliated camps could be what your teen seeks for a deeper experience with a faith belief. The day may begin with a religious service and include traditional camp activities, Bible study and evening meditations.
Teens can discover a new hobby
When your teen unplugs from the screens at camp, he or she may discover a hobby to pursue and nurture throughout the year. Today, parents can find a camp for almost any interest, from art and music camp to scouting and sports camps.
Teens can stay active
Are you concerned your teen will spend all summer glued to the computer and smartphone screens? At summer camp, he or she can power off the laptops and put down the phones. Unplugged from the electronics, they will be able to hike, paddleboard, swim and enjoy being outdoors in nature.
Teens can begin to cultivate leadership development skills
Whether it’s serving as section leader at band camp or organizing a group activity, summer camp gives your teen the opportunity to cultivate leadership development skills. Through the camp experience, your teen can learn to take ownership of responsibilities, work with diverse groups of people and problem solve through challenges.
Teens learn to appreciate things they would probably take for granted
After “roughing it” in the great outdoors, your teens may return home with a new appreciation for what it takes to be a part of a family and contribute to a household. As such, they’ll learn to appreciate the things they would probably take for granted, such as a refrigerator with food and a comfortable bed.
This story originally appeared on our sister site Baltimore’s Child.