Be healthy and happy at camp
BY NIKI PAPAK Banner Day Camp
Mile-high smiles: Playgrounds and creative play areas allow campers to exercise both their bodies as well as their imaginations. This sort of play is essential to the development of healthy, well-adjusted children. | SUPPLIED PHOTO
Summer camp provides a tremendous opportunity for children to begin laying the foundation for a healthy and happy lifestyle. Camp does more than just form a bridge between the school years. A summer spent playing, laughing, growing and learning can be the catalyst for a lifetime of happiness and success for your children.
Camp provides a unique opportunity to enjoy and explore a wide variety of physical activities. Traditional sports such as baseball, soccer, basketball and football, provide campers an engaging opportunity to learn and play. In addition, campers gain exposure to sports and activities that they might otherwise not have experienced, such as high ropes, pioneering or kayaking. Daily swimming provides campers with a chance for physical development as well as a valuable life skill. Playgrounds and creative play areas allow campers to exercise both their bodies as well as their imaginations. This sort of play is essential to the development of healthy, well-adjusted children. Through increased physical activity, children will build stronger, healthier bodies and an appreciation for an active lifestyle, which will in turn help set the stage for a healthier and happier adulthood. Camp provides a refreshing change from the rigors of the school year to focus on just playing and the enjoyment that comes from being outdoors.
A traditional outdoor camp setting imparts a sense of adventure and offers the freedom and opportunity to explore our natural environment. Too often, suburban sprawl confines us to small, self-contained play areas such as a neighborhood park. Camp empowers children to disconnect from the TV or gaming platform and to reconnect and enjoy the expansive, natural beauty that once surrounded us. From the simple exploration of a muddy creek bed in search of animal tracks to racing down a zip line through the trees, camp provides an opportunity to unplug from the day to day grind and over-programming that has percolated down to our children. Outdoor experiences such as these afford a remarkable opportunity to add a sense of wonder and awe back to play.
Camp offers all this in an environment that encourages and strengthens friendship, team building and the ability to grow while having fun. The spirit of joy and laughter that resonates through a campground, as well as permeates a child’s memory, represents the most fitting tribute to any summer spent at camp. It is no surprise that children frequently attend camp with their friends. What is perhaps more surprising is the number and depth of relationships with which children emerge from camp. Lifelong friendships are forged and cemented at camp every summer. That ability to make new friends represents an enduring skill that will continue to pay dividends through college and beyond. Every summer, campers grow so close to their counselors that the joy of the summer is always punctuated by the realization of how much they will miss their counselor; at least they will see them back at camp next year.