When you think about the building blocks of life — the knowledge and skills we need to guide us through even the toughest moments — what do you think about? Social skills? Independence? Resilience? Having all of these abilities is paramount in achieving a happy, successful life.
Parents, family members, friends and teachers more than likely played a big role in teaching you these skills. However, there’s another experience that has been proven to have helped with this type of personal growth.
“Camp is one of the few institutions where young people can experience and satisfy their need for physical activity, creative expression and true participation in a community environment,” says Peter Scales, Ph.D., senior fellow with the Search Institute in Minneapolis and educator, author and psychologist. “Most schools don’t satisfy all these needs.”
When we’re able to send our kids to summer camp, they become part of a community that fosters success and healthy development, all the while having fun! On a daily basis, campers interact with peers and positive role models, and have the opportunity to work together, make choices, build independence and build their self-esteem.
Muskoka Woods thrives on supporting your child’s personal growth. Plenty of its past guests have said how important the camp has been in their lives. The impact of summer camp reaches far past the first day of fall. In fact, some former guests have said that thanks to Muskoka Woods Summer Camp, they feel comfortable with who they are and that the experience has changed their lives forever.
Through daily activities — from arts and crafts and beach volleyball to wakeboarding and ropes courses — guests are able to push their personal boundaries in an environment that is supportive and safe. Guests at Muskoka Woods learn to communicate effectively, work as a team and try new activities, which not only helps boost their self-esteem and independence but also surrounds them with like-minded peers that eventually turn into lifelong friends.
Summer camp is more than just a short-term experience. It’s a culture that feeds on positivity, resilience, independence and, of course, fun. And, more importantly, it sets up our children with skills that will carry on with them long after the years of camp are over.
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.