Camps help keep kids’ brains active over the summer
The countdown has begun, and students and teachers cannot wait for that last bell to ring.
A three-month break from school is something that every teacher and student looks forward to, but there are some downsides to be- ing off a schedule and out of a learning environment for those three months.
The U.S. Department of Education has done studies that found kids can lose up to 25 percent of their reading skills and show a decline in math skills over the summer months. The effects of this are evident the following school year when teachers routinely use the first three to four weeks to re-teach information that the students forgot over the summer.
Nowadays, there are many summer programs available to keep youth engaged, active and involved with the learning process. One of many ways to increase knowledge throughout the summer is to attend a camp. Summer camp is a place where every child has the opportunity to learn valuable life skills.
There are camps for every type of interest, whether is it sports, environmental, robotics, animal science or a general interest camp. In a unique learning environ- ment, youth are able to engage in activities that allow them to learn about teamwork, leadership, and build self-esteem. All of these qualities help youth flourish during the school year.
Camps provide structured learning opportunities as a part of their daily activities. It could be an animal science class, where youth learn about the life cycle and food systems, or a small engines class, where they take apart and rebuild an engine. Whichever it may be, youth are involved in learning experiences that will keep their minds sharp.
Children who attend a camp might even discover a possible career path they hadn’t considered. In addition to increasing knowledge over the summer, youth also develop life skills such as responsibility, resourcefulness, citizenship, caring, communication and playtime. The American Academy of Pediatrics has stated that play is an integral part of learning as it contributes to the cognitive growth of children. What better place to play than a summer camp?
For more information about 4-H summer camps in your area visit: http:// extension. udel. edu/ 4h/ new-castle-county-4-h-youthdevelopment/ 4h- camps- innew-castle-county/
Kaitlin Klair is 4-H youth development coordinator for the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension. She and her colleagues write a periodic column for the Newark Post.