The summer is approaching fast, and many children will soon head off to summer camp for a few weeks, or even the entire season. Along with that souvenir t-shirt, they’ll have fun, interact with others, and learn new things. Sure, they can get all this at school and extra-curricular activities, but summer camp offers benefits exclusive to the camping experience. Following are a few unique ways children can benefit from summer camp.

A Boost in Self Confidence

One extensive study found that 70 percent of campers’ parents reported that their children came home from camp with more self-confidence. Camp kids must work through homesickness and tackle new activities. When children are in another environment, they’re more likely to push themselves further on skills give they already have. Back at school, this new sense of pride can lead them to try out for teams and activities they might have otherwise avoided.

Develop a Unique Interest

Camps that specialize in activities like video game design or archery give children an environment to try out skills without the fear of reproach. They can concentrate on that one skill set without worrying with other studies and homework. They now have the time to work on developing a unique interest. This interest can lead to new success for them.

Helps Connect to Nature

Kids today are often caught up in cyberspace and detached from the natural world. In fact, The Nature Conservancy conducted a nationwide poll and found that a mere 10 percent of children spend time outside every day. Camp gives them an opportunity to see what they’ve been missing by not being out in the great outdoors.

Helps Eliminate Labeling

Attending school with the same peers year after year can lead to labeling. Children may become known as quiet, studious, etc. while when in reality they enjoy more boisterous activities. A different environment and new group of people can give them a chance to “break out of the mold” and be truer to themselves. They may or may not carry this new personality back to their old setting, but the experience can lead to greater self-discovery.

Eases Summer Slide

Summer slide refers to the phenomenon that children regress in skills over the summer. Research shows they can lose up to two months of grade equivalency in math skills. Reading and spelling skills can take a hard hit as well. If this is a concern, look for camps that offer educational programs along with the regular camp fun. Many specialized camps exist that offer fun and interactive STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) activities as well as reading, writing, and the arts.