Why Kids Need Camp This Summer More Than Ever Before

Camps  / 

Before you continue reading this article, give yourself a nice long pat on the back. We're coming up on one year since the COVID-19 quarantine, and you're still standing, albeit a little sideways. As parents continue the struggle to balance work, parenting, teaching and so much more, kids continue to adjust to this changed reality of remote learning, reduced participation in activities, and missed celebrations and milestones. But wait, there is some good news! Summer is rapidly approaching and day camps are more ready than ever to provide your child with laughs, activity, friendships, sun and fun. Both day and overnight camps ran successfully last summer amid COVID with a number of safety protocols in place. Jess Michaels, Director of Communications for the American Camp Association, New York and New Jersey shares a few reasons why camp can make a difference in your child's life, especially this year:


Independence One of the greatest gifts camp provides -- other than free time for parents -- is the opportunity for children to gain independence. As families spent much more time together this year, kids gained more dependence on their parents for remote learning, entertainment and comfort (understandably). Camp allows children the chance to make some decisions on their own, from how many times they want to go up to the salad bar to which elective activity to try. These are all small but important steps to becoming a capable and independent adult.

Mental Health In the fall, the CDC released a report on the ways in which the pandemic is effecting children's mental health. According to the report, some of the challenges children are experiencing are related to change of routine, break in continuity of learning, and missed life events. Camp provides a remedy by offering children a return to some sense of normalcy. 


Break from Screens Have your kids become screen kings and queens? With remote learning and the reduced number of sports and after-school activities, kids have turned to their devices (we're looking at you Roblox and Tik Tok.) Camp is one of the last remaining places where personal technology is banned, and where campers communicate face to face and not from behind a screen.

Friendships Kids thrive from playing with friends and socializing, which was essentially COVID-canceled for a year. Camp is an amazing opportunity to make new friends and reconnect with old ones in a safe environment.


Activities Many kids haven’t participated in any organized activities this year. Camp has a number of activities to try for every interest. Coming off a year when many kids have paused their normal extracurricular schedule, the opportunity to safely participate in sports, swimming, STEM and arts & crafts alongside friends feels doubly important.

Structure As the simple act of getting through the day took precedence, it was a year lacking in structure and routine. With some days at home for remote learning and other days in school, children’s daily routines have been disrupted. Camp provides a return to a daily routine and structure that provide comfort and help children succeed.

Rituals and Traditions After a year of missed holidays and traditions, camp will celebrate theirs with fun memories such as color war, Olympics, camp alma maters and the raising and lowering of the flag each day. These traditions have special meaning within the camp community and are something kids can look forward to, knowing they won’t be cancelled.

Not to miss! Tune in to Bergen Mama's Instagram Live on Wednesday, March 3rd at 10 am for our Summer Camp Convo with an exciting panel of experts including: Renee Flax, Director of Camper Placement, American Camp Association; Sam Borek, Owner/Director Woodmont Day Camp; and Lauren Pine Bernstein, Owner/Director Camp Walden

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