Overnight camp provides a wonderful place for children to grow, gain independence, learn to work through problems without the help of a parent and become part of a community. Often campers come back from camp more confident and willing to try new things. Children can also discover new interests, meet interesting young adults (the staff) as well as re-define themselves at their second home. As a side benefit, when former campers go to college, they have already worked through feelings of homesickness as a camper and are more likely to adjust to being away from home. Camp also creates a different learning environment than school, one where there is pressure from grades and other obligations children have at home. Children can also connect with nature and the outdoors, learn in more active ways than they do in school, and create lifetime bonds with their new friends. For a great article about children growing at camp (and having fun!), read what Chris Thurber, an academic psychologist with years at camp has to say. I have sat in on many workshops run by Chris. He is knowledgeable, has hands on experience at camp, and a great sense of humor. I highly recommend Chris' book, the Summer Camp Handbook.
owner of Camp Finders and MySummers
owner/director of Maine Arts Camp