Have you ever experienced camp before? If you have you know the many benefits you will reap from just one week in your life. My passion has always been camp, particularly 4-H camping. My camping experience ranges as I have been a camper to camp staff to camp volunteer. I have witnessed the powerful transformations that happens in kids and adults from just one week at camp.
Oftentimes camp is the first time children are away from their parents for overnights. This is one of the many benefits that camp offers as it teaches the camper independence. These kids must wake up on their own, make their own choices with food, being responsible with hygiene, and being on time (with assistance from counselors/staff of course). The independence that is cultivated during this week helps campers get to know themselves better. Camp enhances the ability to work with others while also building leadership skills. You learn how to accept and encourage others as camp spirit is all about celebrating successes and overcoming challenges.
Camp provides active and engaged learning. Camp activities range from teaching about the environment, swimming, science, and healthy living. These camp activities provide youth with the opportunity to master new skills they normally would not attempt. It also models the 4-H learning experience of learning by doing. As prior camp staff, I have witnessed children master new skills with pride in their successful endeavors.
Camp gives the sense of belonging. During camp, I have witnessed many campers creating close bonds to others that they will keep for a lifetime. To this day, my closest friends are friends I made at camp. Those memories will remain forever and that feeling of being part of something big is felt each week. If you meet anyone who has been to a 4-H camp in Florida, you will hear how they bonded with people from just a week of camp.
Camp offers many benefits to those who go and I strongly recommend that if you have kids, you send them to camp. This year Lake County will be attending Camp Cloverleaf from July 9-13, 2018. If you have any questions about 4-H camp contact Dallas Daniels, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Dallas Daniels, Lake County 4-H agent