Benefits of Outdoor Summer Camp for kids

Author: Meera Kulkarni (Guest Blogger & BASCOOL Patron)

Unstructured free play – Camping is synonymous with free living. Children can relax, not be bothered about meeting deadlines, can deviate from routine, laugh and be silly all day. Outdoor summer camps are free from the highly-structured, highly-scheduled routines of home and school. 

Be physically active every day – These days children spend a significant amount of time indoors being sedentary, camping provides a wonderful opportunity to move. Swimming, hiking, kayaking, jumping, running, climbing! Camp is action!

Connect with nature – Nature is where children learn the best lessons, because nature doesn’t discriminate. Nature is a lesson in humility. Outdoor summer camps foster healthy child development both in terms of physical and mental well being. It also enriches their perception of the world.

Become resilient – Children are very often pushed out of their comfort zones in camps and this environment is a great learning board to endure setbacks, They learn to approach every problem with an open mind, be more accomodating and try new (and thereby maybe a little frightening) things, and see that improvement comes from practice. Camp helps conquer fears.

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Independent decision making – Decision making is a skill that can only be honed if children are provided the opportunity to think for themselves without parents and teachers guiding their every move. Camp helps kids develop who they are. 

Builds confidence and experience true success – Camp teaches kids that they CAN. Helps build self confidence and self esteem by removing the flawed idea of academic, athletic and social competition that shapes their lives at school. Young people benefit from the easy environment consisting of non-competitive activities and diverse opportunities to succeed. There’s accomplishment every day. 

Technology Shut Down and Detox – When kids take a break from gadgets and technology they rediscover their creative energies and engage with the real world. They realize, there’s always plenty to do. 

Develop life-long skills – The variety of activities offered at camp makes it easy for kids to discover and develop what they like to engage in. Camp nurtures and grows every child’s abilities. Camps provide the right equipment, pedagogy, and facilities for kids to enhance their artistic abilities, sports acumen, and adventure skills. 

Develop social skills – While at a camp your child is in a close-knit community where everyone must agree to cooperate and respect each other. When they live in a cabin/dormitory or tent with others, kids share chores, resolve disagreements, and see firsthand the importance of open and genuine communication. Camp builds teamwork.

Make true friends – Free from the social expectations and judgements pressuring them at school, camp encourages kids to relax and make friends easily. All the fun at camp draws everyone together— singing, laughing, talking, playing, doing almost everything together. Camp creates friendships.

Importance of Trust building – Building trust goes both ways. Children learn to work in big groups with people with different personalities and temperaments, this leads to developing essential life skills such as trusting your group, trusting their own abilities and not giving up midway during a period of hustle. 

Money management – This is specific to the Bangalore Adventure School summer camp, wherein they have created small projects that will teach the child to manage money through prioritizing and completing tasks by making optimum use of the available resources.  

Meal planning – Food is fuel, especially when you are in the outdoors with not many options and resources to feed yourself. So meal planning teaches the children what to make, how to pack, types of calorie dense, light weight food that is sustainable during their time outdoors. 

Contingency Planning

First Aid Training

Map reading & Navigation skills

Outdoor Ethics – Leave No Trace Principles

Other Write-up by Meera Unni

Meera Unni – Who Am I?
Types of Summer Camps available near Bangalore

Types of Summer Camps For Kids And Teens

Summer-camps-for-kids

Author: Meera Kulkarni (Guest Blogger & BASCOOL Patron)

While I was on a search for activities in the summer to keep the kids productively engaged, I came across numerous activity camps such as 

Arts and Crafts camps: Quilling, Knitting, Painting, Pottery, Mandala making, Origami, Japanese Flower arrangement, Henna Designing, baking, dance and music etc are some of the activities that help brain plasticity, fluid intelligence, IQ, and attention.

Arts-&-crafts-summer-camps-for-kids
Arts-&-crafts-summer-camps-for-kids

Science Summer camps: Robotics, Astronomy, and Chemistry (Fun in the lab), marine science, inventor’s camps, forensic science camps etc. Science camps educate from outside the rigid structure of a classroom, and encourage trial, failure, and creative experimentation to foster the not-so-distant future leaders in science and technology. 

Agriculture and Horticulture based camps: Gardening, Farm experience day camp, Environmental Science Summer camps, that focus on greenhouse techniques, plant identification & production, floral design etc. are great ways of developing healthy relationships with food should begin with learning about where and how food is grown on farms.

Sports Camps: Sports coaching camps such as Badminton, Cricket, Lawn tennis, Soccer/Football, and Gymnastics. Sports camps inculcate the importance of a healthy lifestyle, helps develop responsibility and work ethic, improved cognition, decreased tendencies of anxiety and depression etc.

Martial Arts Camps: For the ones that have the fight club gene in them (just kidding), there are some great martial arts camps for Karate, Kung Fu, Taekwondo, Krav Maga,  and Boxing. Martial arts teaches kids the value of treating their body well, healthy growth of both self-confidence and self-esteem, channel their anger and temper through exercises and techniques that will accompany them throughout their entire life.

Adventure Summer Camp: Swimming, Scuba Diving, Rock Climbing, Canyoneering, Caving, Outdoor Camping and Hiking/Trekking. Adventure camps offer children a unique chance to break out of their comfort zone and do something new. They also learn the importance of making the optimum use of resources, surviving in not so favorable weather conditions, time management, best practices while in the outdoors etc.

You might ask, what did I choose for my kids? I decided to go ahead and explore Adventure summer camps in detail. What sealed the deal for me is the great mix of physical activities, mental skills building and empowering children to make independent decisions. I came across one such adventure summer camp for kids and teens by Bangalore Adventure School. 

Some of my write-ups

Meera Unni – Who Am I?
Benefits of Outdoor Summer Camp for kids