The Academic Benefits of Summer Camp

When parents think about sending their kids to summer camp, they’re likely trying to plan a summer full of fun and excitement with the academic year firmly in the rearview mirror. And sure, everyone knows that camp is fun, but it’s also full of opportunities for your child to learn from drop-off to pick-up.

Considering that schools here in Canada have been closed to in-person learning for so many weeks over the last two-plus years — with Ontario schools having been closed longer than anywhere else in North America — the educational environment provided by summer camp can go a long way in helping to reverse the effects of “COVID slide.”

As an overnight summer camp with a roster of unique activities, Muskoka Woods provides kids with personal, social and practical learning opportunities with strong carryover into the classroom.

Personal growth

Muskoka Woods provides a safe setting for campers as young as six to practice independence from their families, leading to leaps and bounds in their self-awareness. Having to navigate their feelings about being away from home overnight and making decisions for themselves about everything from the food they eat to how clean they keep their bunk, fosters resilience and independence. Learning that they can stand on their own two feet boosts a child’s self esteem even after just one week.

Social skills

Camp affords your child unparalleled social experiences. Not only do they have to get along with people they don’t know, they have to work together to carry out specific tasks, from cabin clean-up to camp activities, which necessitates prioritizing the group over themselves. Camp gives your child real-world experience with negotiation, empathy and diplomacy, allowing them to develop invaluable leadership skills—and friendships—that they will rely on for years to come.

Practical experience

Summer camp can result in your child learning a tangible new skill, whether it’s photography, archery, canoeing, or one of the many other activities offered by Muskoka Woods. A lot of camp activities also link directly to aspects of their formal education.

“You can use math skills on a ropes challenge course,” says Stephen Fine, chair of educational research for the Ontario Camping Association, in this article. “You can study the environment, physics or astronomy around a campfire. A canoe trip can include a history lesson or a lesson in geography.”

First-hand encounters with nature

Finally, a major practical advantage of an overnight camp like Muskoka Woods is that kids have no barriers, geographic or otherwise (electronics are strongly urged to be left at home), standing between them and nature. Camp allows children to simply be in nature where they can deepen their appreciation for the outdoors, enjoy the physical aspects of being in the woods or on the water, and learn about conservation.

Discover Muskoka Woods and everything we have to offer by visiting our website.

About the Author

Paul Cade has been a part of Muskoka Woods since his first summer as guest in 1996. He spent time working in the kitchen, on Water Ski Staff, as the General Athletics Area Head, as a Staff Coach and an Athletic Director for three years. Paul graduated with a Recreation and Leisure Studies diploma at Humber College and was a recent graduate of the Arrow Leadership program. He has been overseeing the Muskoka Woods Summer Camp since 2016 and prior to that he spent 6 years working as a full-time youth pastor in Oakville and Ajax. Paul has a passion for developing young leaders for today and the future. Paul met the love of his life Victoria at Muskoka Woods in 2006. They are married with three young children.

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