Providing students with fun and beneficial group and personal experiences, summer camps can be a great opportunity for kids to interact with others while learning more about themselves and their world. As the American Camp Association supports, “camp provides children with a community of caring adults, who nurture experiential education that results in self-respect and appreciation for human value,” while the kids and campers can benefit from experiences that foster “self-identity, self-worth, self-esteem, leadership, and self-respect.”
While there is a variety of camps and summer venues across the country, parents can take advantage of local and affordable summer camps offered at nearby community colleges
. While some high school students already enjoy dual enrollment
in public school and community colleges, now even elementary-aged students can learn on these campuses.
The Benefits of Summer Camps
As the American Camp Association (ACA) further reveals, both parents and children can benefit from camping venues, as “parents have reported that when their children return home from camp they are more caring, understand the importance of giving, are more equipped to stand up for what they know is right, and are willing to be more responsible. These are the qualities that will help build a successful nation and a civil society.”
Added to this, ACA also asserts that children are able to thrive, and are at less of a risk, when they are engaged in a “camp where they have a sense of community, develop intergenerational relationships, and learn through first-hand experiences. Trained, caring adult role models help children feel loved, capable, and included. Camp helps children grow by providing a supervised, positive environment that has safety as a primary commitment.”
As children and parents can choose from a diverse array of summer camp opportunities, children can be exposed to positive mentors, learn how to interact with peers more effectively, while also gaining insight about positive relationship building strategies and concepts of personal responsibility.
Community College Summer Camps
Westchester Community College
(WCC) established their Summer on Campus program in 1995, as the program leaders intended to provide a wealth of summer opportunities for children across the state of New York. Today, Westchester has developed programs at over 100 colleges, with over 70 different categories of camps, ranging from sports, to arts, to academic camps as well.
WCC provides campers with “affordable
summer learning opportunities for children and teens with specific interests in the arts, science, computers, and the culinary arts! All programs are offered in convenient locations using state-of-the art equipment, and our caring instructors create a learning environment that is stimulating and fun.” Campers can find out more information about specific programs and locations by visiting WCC’s website, available at www.summeroncampus.com
Located in Gardner, Massachusetts, Mount Waschusett Community College
(MWCC) offers both kids and teenagers a diverse array of camp venues and activities. For example, students can participate in “Art Programs,” some of which are catered to “the young artist who likes to draw and paint. Each year different subjects, including contemporary art, are presented to inspire students’ drawings, paintings, collages and prints. Individual expression is encouraged as students explore new materials such as charcoal, watercolor and acrylic paints, paper, and inks. Supervised games and other activities will complement time in the studio.” The art classes range from drawing and painting, to even sculpting, as programs are designed specifically for children-based and teen-centered camps.
In addition to art camps, students can engage in “Youth Leadership Development,” opportunities, where “Students will learn about leadership concepts and respect through the principles of military and police discipline. They will be tasked to build team skills and camaraderie from physical as well as mental challenges. Positive self-esteem building exercises will help fuel their desire to work together.”
Also, described as one of MWCC’s most popular camp programs, students can participate in “Drama” workshops, some of which even focus specifically on musical theater. For example, in MWCC’s camp program “Spotlight on Musical Theater,” students can “learn the basics of song and dance while experiencing the thrill of performing in musical numbers from Broadway shows. Students are exposed to what it takes to be a ‘triple threat’ in the world of theatre. The program includes a performance for family and friends on the final evening of class.” To discover more, parents and campers can visit MWCC’s camp website, available at www.mwcc.edu/LLL/kids.html
Offering a variety of camp programs at their campus in Suffern, New York, Rockland Community College
camps are designed to provide local families with “various activities that caters to kids from 2nd Grade to 9th Grade.” For example, “the Physical Education Department currently has three different summer camps namely, Sports Academy, Kids' College and Baseball Academy.” The camp venues may vary each year, so parents and campers can find out more information at RCC’s camp website, available at http://www.sunyrockland.edu/continuing-education/children-teens
Especially for working parents, summer camp provides an excellent opportunity for your child to continue to learn, while having great fun. With the variety of programs offered at community college campuses, your child can explore different creative and academic fields that open their learning expanses beyond the traditional school curriculum.