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What are the benefits of summer camp?

How do you explain magic?

It’s near-impossible to simply explain the magic of the camp experience in a blog post. And this is coming from us, youth development professionals who spend every waking moment thinking about camp! Nonetheless, we can’t keep the good news to ourselves. Here is our effort to summarize the many benefits of going to summer camp.

Connect without Technology

Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of going to summer camp, especially sleep-away camp, is that it allows campers to unplug. For one thing, this is key for developing personal connections and practicing social skills. What’s more, it helps relieve social media pressure—comparing popularity and self-worth based on numbers of followers. At camp, kids choose to do what makes them happy because it’s what they want to do. Not to impress others or get digital ‘likes’ for doing it. Among campers themselves, the consensus is they don’t even miss technology!

Grow to be Independent

Camp offers a taste of independence that is hard to come by in today’s world. From as young as age 7, campers are responsible for keeping their cabin space tidy and making their bed daily. They separate, sort, and put away their own laundry. Sometimes, they are even responsible for tasks that affect their whole cabin, such as setting the table for their cabin mates. At Camp Friendship, campers are even responsible for arriving at their activities on time. This makes campers accountable for their own actions and teaches the importance of being punctual. These benefits of summer camp translate to valuable real-world habits.

Experience Inclusion

No matter which camp your child attends, they will be included in the warm, welcoming, and supportive camp community. Camp Friendship celebrates differences and sends children home with a greater understanding of the world around them. Campers get to interact with and develop an appreciation for those who are different from them. The camping industry overall is also truly inclusive—every child can experience the benefits of summer camp while exploring their own interests. There are sports-focused camps, artistic camps, music camps, camps for people with special needs, religious camps, and everything else in between!

Learn Skills for the 21st Century

What are the most valuable skills employers look for in new hires? Hint: they’re not just reading, writing, math, and science skills anymore. Those are important but to really broaden career options in the 21st century, students need to show critical thinking, creativity, and communication. The 3 C’s, so to speak. 

This assessment comes from The Partnership for 21st Century Skills, a D.C.-based non-profit. Luckily, camp is the perfect proving ground for those modern skills that help students excel in school and beyond.

Critical Thinking

Life is not a multiple-choice test. To get ready for the world, kids need the chance to solve tough problems with critical thinking. They have plenty of options to do so at camp. They may have to work with their team to devise the best approach for a challenge course. Or use time-management skills to create the best drama and dance projects possible during their camp session. There are no right answers to questions like these; campers must use critical thinking to define the best options for themselves and their team.


In the future, automation will continue to replace routine jobs. Those with strong creativity will be the ones who soar. Creativity is more than coming up with new ideas—it also involves solving problems by combining skills across disciplines. 

At camp, there are ample opportunities to work on new skills in a focused setting, across different subject areas. When campers can pursue challenges that really excite them, from archery, to crafts, to water polo and yoga, their perspective and creativity grow exponentially. What’s more, excelling in meaningful activities like these gives them the confidence to face any challenge.

Communication and Collaboration

In the cabins, dining halls, and great outdoors, campers are surrounded by their peers. That togetherness is a huge benefit of summer camp. But it also comes with its challenges—communication and collaboration with a diverse group of new people is no easy task. 

Campers must work together to keep their cabins harmonious and group activities on task. We find that in a beautiful supportive environment like camp, everyone returns to their natural cooperative, friendly state. Camp is a wonderful place to collaborate in fun, meaningful activities.

Align with Camp Values

Every camp has a purpose for existing and maintains a set of values that they incorporate into the camp experience.  At Camp Friendship, being yourself comes naturally because we celebrate diversity, we focus on connection and we encourage growth. We structure our programs around these values and we love that our campers take these values away with them at the end of the summer. 

Have Fun!

The most important benefit of sleep-away camp is that it’s just downright fun! Kids get to be kids, explore new interests and push themselves to new heights surrounded by role models who want to see them succeed. There’s no better way to spend your summer! 

As passionate industry leaders, we could talk about camp until our faces turns blue, but there’s no better explanation than experiencing it for yourself. For adults looking to experience the magic of summer camp, why not register for Camp Friendship’s Family Camps!