Back to Nature Summer Camps
When you think of a summer camp what comes to mind? Most people will name activities such as campfires, hiking, swimming and being outdoors. This is a good description of a traditional summer camp. In fact, summer camps have been providing a woodsy, outdoor focus since the first camps were started in the 1880's.
Summer camps were originally designed for children in the Victorian era. Adults believed nature offered moral and physical advantages that children could benefit from. The earliest camping experiences were usually provided by a private camp group or religious organizations.
In recent years technology has changed the typical camp atmosphere. Some camps have actually used technology to replace getting back to nature. These types of camps are often held on a college campus. They function more like a mini college than a relaxed summer camp. This may not be the best idea when it comes to a child's first camping experience.
Some camps have chosen to blend technology along with nature, trying to strike a happy medium. Geocaching is the best example of using technology alongside nature. Armed with Google Maps and a smart phone or tablet, children play a high tech version of a treasure hunt. They find coordinates and clues in order to locate prizes.
Still other camps see the importance of maintaining the integrity of old school camping. They point to the research which shows getting back to nature is healing to the body and soul. Studies reveal children benefit from spending time outdoors. Being in nature increases a child’s self-confidence, decreases attention deficit problems, decreases obesity issues and helps kids de-stress.
When it comes to summer camping, keeping things traditional may be the best type of camp for modern day children. The more the world changes around us, the more a summer camp program may need to stay the same. Getting back to the basics of enjoying nature can be relaxing, refreshing and educational.