With kids back in school and winter weather looming over muchof the country, summer seems a world away. It’s not too soon,however, for parents to start thinking about ways to create a safeand enriching summer for their children. The American CampingAssociation (ACA) encourages parents to include a camp experienceas part of this summer’s activities. To help parents and childrenget a head start on their plans, the ACA has designated January as”Sign Your Child Up For Camp” month.
More than ten million children attend camp each summer. As thisnumber increases annually by about 10 percent, finding andsecuring the perfect camp experience for children becomes harderthan ever. “Sign Your Child Up For Camp” month enablesparents to take advantage of early registration opportunities andreserve a spot for their child at the camp of their choice.
Given recent news events, child development experts continue toemphasize the value of camp for children and young adults.”Many children have been traumatized by the events ofSeptember 11,” said Bob Ditter, a licensed clinical socialworker specializing in child and adolescent behavior.”They’ve lost the sense of security and innocence onceenjoyed. Summer camp can help restore feelings of safety andwell-being, allowing children to focus on the wonders ofchildhood.”
In addition to the safe and nurturing environment that camp canoffer, it also provides an opportunity for young people to enhancetheir traditional academic schooling with valuable summer learningexperiences. “Summer camp fosters a sense of community thatgives children a chance to learn important life lessons, whichshould help them become responsible and productive members of oursociety,” said Psychologist, Dr. Chris Thurber.
“Many camp activities are designed to build character,while promoting positive behavior and healthy risk-taking,”continued Dr. Thurber. “ACA research indicates that manyyoung people who attend camp experience an increase in theirself-esteem and are able to establish a true sense of independenceapart from their families.”
So, while New Year’s resolutions are made and broken, ensuringa safe and enriching summer for their children is a resolutionthat the ACA can help parents keep!
For more information on the advantages of early registration andthe benefits of the camp experience, please visit the ACA web siteat www.ACAcamps.orgor call 1-800-428-CAMP.
Founded in 1910, the American Camping Association is a nationalcommunity of camp professionals and is dedicated to enriching thelives of children and adults through the camp experience. ACA isthe only organization that accredits all types of camps based upon300 standards for health and safety.
© American Camping Association