Going to camp is a pretty big deal when you are a kid: you leave your parents for the day, or maybe even for several days; you sleep in the outdoors in a tent or cabin; you eats foods that your mom didn’t cook; you do activities that you might never be allowed to do if you stayed home (like archery… ever tried that in your house?!)
When you start talking to adults about camp you hear all sorts of stories… many of them told in a wry voice with a smile, about some hardship that they were able to overcome, that they “survived.” I have heard many stories from now full grown, well adjusted adults without obvious physical deficiencies that “they barely survived it was SO (insert here: cold, hot, wet, dry, stormy, wavy and rough, muddy, buggy, gross etc.)”
What is it about the camp experience? After all, you go to school 10 months of the year and hardly anyone has the same type of “I overcame hardship and am better for it” stories (even though there are some similarities: you leave your parents for the day, eat different foods, do new activities… ever tried to play dodge ball in the house?) Camp is definitely a special experience.
There is some good evidence that the camp experience is actually quite good for kids. Research reveals that children gain confidence, resiliency, grow more independent and gain social skills. They also will spend hours every day at camp being physically active (running, jumping, climbing, hiking, swimming and more.) Statistics Canada reports that only 7% of children meet the target of 60 minutes of physical activity every day. At camp it is almost certain that they will – in fact they are active in some manner almost from the time they arise in the morning.
Many parents will also be pleased that their children will be “un-plugged” for their week at camp. This means that they will leave televisions, computers, video games, tablets, smart phones and other electronic devices at home.
Taking a break from screens appears to promote social interaction, engagement with others, creative play and also may reduce sleep problems and inactivity associated with overuse of technology.
Camp Homewood is offering the opportunity to preview the camp experience at their open house on Saturday, June 20.
The camp will be open to all to come and try the activities (archery, riflery, horseback riding, sailing and more) to peek in the tents and tour the property and to even purchase a hotdog lunch (and tuck!) Staff will be on hand to answer questions and show you around. The camp will be welcoming people from 9-5 and the bus will be meeting the 8:20, 9:30, 10:15 and 11:15 Quadra Island ferries and will make a return trip to the 5 p.m. ferry (this will allow families to walk over on the ferry.) For more information check out the website at www.camphomewood.com.