Getting into the sports camp scene may seem to be a daunting task upon first glance. A parent wants a child’s camp to be a positive experience for the child (as well as for the parents). No matter the age group, the day camp alternative can be an excellent choice.
Weighing the Advantages
Enjoying the Experience (with limits)
A great reason to choose the day camp option, is the fact the child returns home in the evening. The opportunity to have your children step out of their normal routine of familiar surroundings and friends is provided without the uneasiness of the children having to sleep in a room with others they have just met. The anxiety levels for young athletes will already increase, given the fact they are going to be competing among strangers (at least until the new acquaintances become new friends). Not having to continually impress their new companions in the off-hours of camp allows for a reduction of those anxiety levels by the time the day campers reach their homes.
For the older participants (ages 12+), the day camp experience has the added attraction of being home in time to make arrangements for evening gatherings with friends from school or the neighborhood. Parents with children in this age range should pay particular attention to make sure the camp chosen caters to a broad spectrum of age ranges and skill levels. Camps offering topnotch coaching and advanced training methods are an important criteria for teens to consider.
New Learning with New Friends
Everyone needs to see change as a positive! A main reason for attending an athletic-based camp is to learn new skills. The fundamentals in sports rarely change, but different coaches teach those fundamentals in their own ways. Campers are going to be in a new and different atmosphere, an atmosphere of learning. They will be next to other campers there for the same reason. It creates an opportunity to share the new experiences and creates a natural ‘bonding’ forming new friendships between campers
Throwing Away the Safety Net
Figuratively, of course. Introductions of new ideas, renewed fundamentals – all among new friends – invigorates the athletic senses. It creates the opportunity for a child to go the extra step, to become a bit more of a risk taker. This lends to accelerating the learning process while also bringing a newfound enjoyment for the camp athletes.
Advantages for Parents
Allowing Children to ‘Spread their Wings’– without entirely losing control.
Specialty day camps allow campers to discover themselves on and off the field, in a surrounding they are familiar with. Your camper will have the freedom to explore and end their days dreaming of the goals they scored, baskets made or aces served against other campers they may see during their regular season. Nothing beats seeing the smile on your campers face after a fun-filled day of camp!
Less Worries and Concerns
The hours of day camp may alleviate a lot of the hustle and clock-watching parents must endure. At least for a few days, parents do not have to be a summer fun guide, scheduling events to occupy a child’s day. A daily drop off and pick up may provide a bit of stress reduction for parents.
New Conversation at the Dinner Table
A new daily experience for a child creates additional questions for parents to ask. The interaction can be both verbal and physical. Let the child explain and demonstrate what was learned at camp. This will also allow parents to see the child’s level of interest for the camp and can assist in determining if additional camp attendance is welcomed by the child.