The social side to summer camps

by | Rinka News

It’s official – school is out for the summer! As parents, this may seem like a daunting time full of uncertainties (oh goodness, how will I entertain my kids today!? I can’t bear to hear another “I’m bored!” complaint, especially after a year of isolation). With restrictions slowly and strategically lifting and our communities returning back to normal, it’s officially time to start signing back up for all the activities our children once knew and loved, and maybe even try something new through summer camps! 

Summer camps will not only provide your children with pure entertainment and fun, but also with crucial developmental and social skills that our children have not experienced this past year. This past year, children have been offered through numerous virtual events and classes, ways of continuing to develop their physical and academic skills. But what our children have been lacking is the social aspect. Now that Covid restrictions are starting to relax, it is crucial that we help our children catch up on their social development. What better way to do this than summer camp!? 

With the exciting news that we get to host in-person summer camps, now more than ever, RINKA can provide your children with FIVE crucial aspects of social development skills that your children can take with them into their futures!

  • Self Confidence 

Whether you have an extremely outgoing child, or a more shyer child, developing self confidence skills are of paramount importance. The ability for children to make their own decisions will foster their independence. This also includes children stepping outside of their comfort zones, whether that be trying out a new crazy dance move or making a new friend. While mistakes will be made, it is even more important to learn from these mistakes and that this will help our children grow into teens and adults who embrace taking healthy risks. 

  • Teamwork

Let’s admit it – this past year our children have been in a situation where they are pretty much the king or queen of their own castle, especially for those of us with only one child. The concept of sharing or taking turns, let’s face it, has not been an everyday practice in our households. For the rest of their lives, they will be working as teams and placed in situations where they have to work together. Through this, they are building long-lasting relationships and developing problem solving and critical thinking skills. 

  • Positive Social Behavior (managing one’s feelings, compassion)

Soft skills, such as showing compassion or managing one’s feelings, are also crucial components of developing positive social behavior. Studies have shown that there is a connection between children who develop social-emotional skills at a young age and their future successes in education, work, and avoidance of criminal behaviors or substance abuse. 

  • Communication Skills (eye contact, tone of voice, with peers and adults)

“Please make sure your microphone is muted” and “Please make yourselves visible on Zoom” are all phrases our children have become accustomed to. We’ve ingrained in them all of the fundamentals of digital etiquette. Now, instead of teaching children to maintain eye contact with the little green dot on the computer, it’s crucial we reteach them to make eye contact with an actual person! While virtual meetings will inevitably be a part of our lives going forward, we need to remember how to communicate effectively face-to-face. Eye contact, tone of voice, peer-conversations, and adult-conversations are all communication skills summer camps will help develop. 

  • Sense of Belonging 

Having healthy childhood friendships is a key component of developing social skills. By having these healthy friendships early on, it will ultimately improve relationships that develop in the future. While today’s technology has equipped us with the ability to stay connected through a screen, it’s just not the same as having that face-to-face interaction which we are all craving at this point.

Sources: 

https://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/full/10.2105/AJPH.2015.302630 

https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/health-family/help-children-follow-their-bliss-to-summer-camp-1.3511573 

https://www.wsj.com/articles/pandemic-toll-children-mental-health-covid-school-11617969003