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.
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.
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.
First Aid Training
Map reading & Navigation skills
Outdoor Ethics – Leave No Trace Principles