While children may be more connected than ever through technology, they are, ironically, losing their social skills. And with social distancing because of Covid and the loss of face-to-face interactions with peers, kids could be more challenged participating in social interactions. According to this article from Healthline, it is difficult for older kids and adolescents, who are learning how to navigate new social structures, to foster friendships over screens or while maintaining social distance in person.
Beyond lacking the ability to practice social skills, they are also losing the ability to play. According to a 2018 study, which examined more than 10,000 children aged 8-12 across Canada over a three-year period, only one-third of kids met what is thought to be a basic level of physical literacy.
This means they lack the ability to participate in such common activities like throwing a ball or playing an athletic sport. As a result, our kids are weak, overweight and less healthy overall.
The good news? A stint at summer camp may be all they need to exercise their socializing muscles and change their outlook.
At Muskoka Woods, guests can customize their schedules to fill a six-hour day. They can participate in anything from badminton, ball hockey and basketball to canoeing, dancing and beach volleyball, to just name a few. Of course, there are non-sport activities as well such as cake decorating and digital photography, for example, but either way you look at it, guests will be participating and gaining skill sets in a variety of activities — all with fellow campers. This will not only help with their social interaction with peers but, at the same time, they’ll be spending their days being physically active.
In addition, new to Muskoka Woods for Senior High and Crew guests is the Athletic Performance Institute (API). Guests specify what they’re most interested in — strength, speed or endurance — and receive a personal training regimen that they can take home to meet their fitness goals.
When we can connect with each other while participating in a common activity, it not only improves our social skills but our physical abilities as well. And, all of these endorphins lead to a brighter, happier outlook. It’s no small wonder then why most kids say summer camp is one of the happiest times of their lives.
Rachel is the publisher of inBetween magazine geared towards parents of teens and young adults. Mom to her 12-year-old son, her more than 20 years of experience in journalism have been spent researching and writing about issues closest to families. Rachel, a native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, she now lives with her husband and their son in Toronto.