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5 Things You Never Knew About Camp

February 2012

Each year, millions of children, youth, and adults head to the time-honored tradition of Camp. There is a lot more to the camp experience than just campfires and canoes. Here are five of the things you may not have known about the camp experience.

5. Camp is "older than dirt." Camp started in 1861. The secret behind the longevity? "Camps are constantly adapting to meet the changing needs of today's families," said Peg Smith, chief executive officer for the American Camp Association® (ACA). "And yet, in essentials, camp is very much the same as it was 150 years ago – kids still have authentic, life-changing experiences."

4. Green is "Zen." In addition to teaching children how to be good stewards of the environment, camps are teaching children how to enjoy the world around them and take a minute to breathe deep and feel the nature, which ultimately teaches them how to de-stress the natural way.

3. Veggies taste better with friends. Camps are often at the forefront of things like healthy snack options and vegetarian meals. According to ACA's research, 90.7 percent of camps list healthy eating and physical activity as an important issue.

2. Camp gets those neurons pumping! Research shows that participation in programs like camp helps stem summer learning loss. And, because of the "hands-on" nature of camp, often children who struggle in traditional education settings do well at camp.

1. Camp builds leaders for the 21st century and beyond! Tomorrow's leaders will need a different set of skills. "Tomorrow's leaders will be able to relate globally and find common ground with people who are vastly different from themselves — people from different backgrounds and cultures. Tomorrow's leaders will be made and educated by experiences like camp," said Smith.

For more information on preparing your child for an independent, fun-filled summer, visit ACA's family resource page at www.CampParents.org. Or, follow ACA on Facebook and Twitter for helpful hints and camp information.

©2011 American Camping Association, Inc.

Tags: Camp, In This Issue

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