Growing up I participated in various academic summer camps and I can say they are some of my favorite memories. At first, like many young people, I was very hesitant to attend an academic camp. I remember thinking to myself “I want to have a fun summer” or “I don’t want to do school work during the summer”. However, many of my teachers encouraged me and ensured me that it would be nothing like school. After debating back and forth I was finally convinced to attend camp and I can say it was the right decision.
Learning at camp was completely different than in school. Instead of listening to a lecture about science, we would work in groups building bridges, dropping eggs, or making snake bubbles. The hands-on activities created a more relaxed and fun learning environment where I was able to interact with others, make friendships, and become more independent. Throughout my middle and high school career, I would attend more academic summer camps that make learning math and science easier as well as sparked my interest to keep learning.
Attending academic summer camps allow youth to meet others with similar interests and make new friends. In order to interact with each other, campers have to get out of their comfort zone and practice effective communication skills. At the same time, everyone gets exposed to a diverse group of people with different ideas and personalities. Academic camps help us broaden our views and thinking. In the end, I was so lucky to be able to make new connections and create meaningful friendships as we learned from each other.
Along with improving their communications skills campers will become more independent. This is especially true for overnight camps where everyone has to figure out how to manage their time and be responsible to be on time.
Another benefit of academic summer camp is to combat summer learning loss. We know that during the summer, some young people stop learning and lose academic knowledge. However, during camp youth will be doing fun hands-on activities that will keep them engaged and spark their interest in learning. The activities will help youth combat summer learning loss as they apply knowledge from the previous academic year and gain new knowledge. By combating summer learning loss, academic camps help youth have a smoother transition into the new academic year.