Ask a schoolchild what they're waiting for the most, and they'll likely answer: "school holiday." Sure enough, diligent kids not only deserve some rest after the year's hard study, but they also need it. As a parent however, you must make sure that rest doesn't turn into pointless inactivity, which is harmful both mentally and physically. The wide variety of camps available today provide an excellent opportunity for children to have fun, learn new things and make friends – all while recharging their batteries for the upcoming school year.
Sitting around at home and spending days on the phone or computer for the entire school holiday does not, in fact, give a child as much enjoyment as a well-chosen camp. You can find almost any type of camp these days: from music, dance, and the arts; to sports and nature-oriented activities; and even digital and computer-centered topics. It's a good idea to talk to your child about holiday plans, listen to their opinions, and choose a camp together.
A smartly chosen camp offers several advantages. Obviously, your children will be able to do something they're interested in, so they'll feel more free and open to new knowledge. Another important factor is that certain areas of interest can't be indulged in at school (or only to a limited extent), but a thematic camp will enable children to really get into them. Robotics, programing, computer games and digital media are only four examples of such topics. The knowledge they learn playfully will also prove useful in the future, and might even have a lasting effect supporting an entire career.
Of course, the theme of a camp is not the only thing to pay attention to when picking something for your child – you should also check out the people who hold it, and their methods. A competitive, performance-oriented study camp might help with getting into a good school, but it’s not sure that children really need this during a school holiday. In addition, camps where children freely do whatever they want all day are not very constructive either-- their program is not structured, and they are not supervised properly. A balanced approach to knowledge and personality development is best supported by a planned, yet playful and emotionally safe environment. In this way, children can challenge themselves: by overcoming the tasks performed while acquiring new knowledge, they experience success, which also strengthens their self-confidence. It's a good idea to look for camps with small groups, where organizers can pay more attention to children's moods and the constantly changing group dynamics. This will go a long way toward making your child's long-lasting experiences positive.
The Covid pandemic of the past year makes the question of camps even more important than usual. Every child needs a certain amount of socialization, an opportunity to be in contact with peers. The school closures of the past year prevented children from meeting each other as often as is needed for healthy emotional development. This is causing them a lot of stress, even if they themselves are not necessarily aware of it. If it is possible (to do so safely and in accordance with epidemiological guidelines), it would be especially important during the school holiday to let your child go to a camp and make up for all the community life they've missed.
Relatively short camps have a unique advantage: children can attend more than one in a single school holiday. The more communities your children visit, the more their personality will develop, and the better they will be able to navigate socially. This notion is supported by a Canadian study1 made in 2010. According to the results, the majority of children who went to a camp experienced a rapid growth of emotional intelligence (EQ for "Emotional Quotient") while they were there. Emotional intelligence helps us understand both our own feelings and those of others. People with a high EQ are also better at motivating themselves. As camps are so important in children’s social development, it is important that they go to a properly moderated, planned, emotionally and educationally caring environment.
Yet another important practical consideration is the type of camp. Sleepover camps can be a blessing for worn-out parents who can finally get a bit of rest while the kid is away doing something exciting and useful. However, they are not always the best choice. Often, many early teens are still too shy and emotionally immature for a camp where they need to sleep far away from their parents. A daytime camp is a better choice for such children: they can enjoy camp activities during the day, but go home to the safety of their own place for the night. A third possibility is an online camp. In this unusual sort of camp, children actually stay at home, but participate in the activities online during the day. This can be a good choice for families where they cannot solve the daily commute to and from a day camp while the parents want the children to be engaged and gain new knowledge during the day. Of course, only certain kinds of camps can be organized this way, but a programming or digital skill development camp can work great in a virtual space.
Here at Logiscool, we recognized the importance of camps years ago and quickly introduced them into our catalogue. Our daytime and online camps operate with small groups of similarly-aged children, under the supervision of professional camp organizers who help the attendees dive into the topics of the digital world. Programming, Minecraft, Roblox game design, digital media and robotics all await children not only in the school year, but also during the school holiday. Let your child playfully master the skills of the future that they'll need as digital citizens, and gather lasting knowledge and experiences that will stay with them and inspire them to reach out for more!