5 Camp Myths Debunked

Myth: Camping is all about hiking, swimming, fishing and catching bugs.

Truth: There are a variety of camping programs.  Each one offers different types of focus and activities.  It’s best to assess your child’s needs and decide if a traditional outdoors camp, specialty camp (art, science, math) or day camp is right for your child.

Myth: My child is only 5, that is too young to go to camp.

Truth:Each child is different. Some children are comfortable leaving home at age 4.  Let’s be honest; we all may know someone who still lives at home and they are 40.  Some people are never ready to leave the nest.  Jon Estis, director of Camp Redwood in Walden, N.Y. stated, “One year we had a five-year-old camper from Japan. When he was escorted off the plane, he spoke no English. He adjusted beautifully. When he went home eight weeks later, he was speaking English.” (www.curiousparents.com)

Myth: My child is a picky eater.  She won’t eat at camp.

Truth: True, many children are very picky when it comes to eating different types of food.  However, if you find a camp where your child can help prepare meals, or there is a variety of familiar food with one or two exotic treats, then your child will find something eat.

Myth: My child is too shy to meet new people.

Truth: Going to camp is a great way for children to gain independence, confidence, and increase their self-esteem.  The shared living spaces, team sports, activities and programs will surround your child with new friends and a caring staff.  Camp counselors will be able to support shy campers and help them step outside of their boundaries.

Myth: The kids aren’t really learning anything. They are just running around. 

Truth:Your child will learn tangible and intangible skills while at camp.  Tangible skills could be learning how to swim, ride a bike, make a fire, sing a new song.  Intangibles include confidence building, socializing skills, and exposure to nature.  One thing that is important to note, if you choose a camp that has a learning focus, make sure there is a balance of recreational activities.

Final Word

Choosing a camp may seem like a daunting task.  However, the benefits are immeasurable.  See you outside! What myths do you need debunked? Let me know! Feel free to leave a comment!

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About Michaela Chatman

Michaela Chatman is the founder of Camp Roadless Summer Visual and Performing Arts Summer Camp based in the Tokyo area. She has taught in Chicago, New York City, Hiroshima, and Tokyo. She has worked with children from ages 5-16. She is a dedicated fan and supporter of the arts. She performs locally in Tokyo with Kaguratei, a blues band. She is an active member in TELL:Exceptional Parents Group, Japan Affiliate of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum (JASCD), Tokyo Investment Group, and Pink Cow Connections Networking Group. For fun she organizes The Tokyo Lovers Pizza Meetup Group.
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