Today’s summer camps aren’t what they used to be. They’re now designed to be adventurous, educational, athletic, thought-provoking experiences that help lead children and teens toward their future.
These summer camps also give Gen Zers the opportunity to improve their soft skills, something that has been increasingly hard for this generation to do in traditional education spaces. These environments allow them to connect with other children who share similar interests while encouraging growth and strength of character.
Think of camps and the specialized environments they offer as an introduction to the college or career experience. Our camp welcomes children from all walks of life, backgrounds, and more than 50 countries. Gen Zers thrive in this global environment because it reflects their digital spaces. However, the camp setting also creates a transitional space where they can interact with peers in a new but comfortable setting. Engaging in these activities helps Gen Zers become more independent thinkers and build teamwork skills — attributes most parents hope their children will achieve before living on their own.
2 Ways to Make the Most out of Summer Camp
Summer camp will let Gen Zers build a lifetime of memories and skills, but it’s important for them to experience everything possible. While your children will be empowered with the tools necessary to improve themselves and their relationships during camp, it’s up to you to prepare them so they can maximize the experience. Give your children the space to:
1. Seek their passions: Before they even get to camp, encourage your children to “try on” and get involved with what they love. If they’re unsure what that is, which is common at this age, various programs can help them explore multiple disciplines. Try on a few hats to see which is a good fit. Allowing Gen Zers to explore a collection of these bite-sized experiences really helps them cultivate their passion in a unique way.
2. Struggle a little: For some Gen Zers, camp is their first experience away from their parents and the first time they are on their own — what a freeing thought, though one that comes with some responsibilities and struggles. The best thing you can do is prepare them for the obstacles they’ll likely face.
For example: “I don’t like a kid in my class,” “I couldn’t find anything I liked to eat,” or “I forgot to set my alarm.” Children will face all of these small, daily, real-life struggles in camp much sooner than we’d like to believe. As a parent, you may need to stifle your urge to swoop in and “fix” these situations. By traversing these life decisions (in a safe place), your child will grow and develop resilience after failure.
Camp is a safe place to unlock not only your children’s personality, but also their potential. Providing them with the challenges and victories of camp will teach them tolerance and inclusivity in relationships, helping them discover what they love and teaching them to bounce back from tough challenges.