| The transition to college can mean big lifestyle changes for many people, but summer camp can help ease that transition to independence.|
The American Camp Associ-ation, New England, has com-piled a list of some of the major advantages and skills children learn that help them make a smoother transition into college life after participating in over-night camp programs.
Five life skills overnight campers learn:
Whether it's tapping the expertise of others who know the ropes, discovering the most important resources, or identifying the people with common interests, community-building skills are essential survival skills.
- Separation: Knowing how to survive and thrive in a residential community away from home and away from parents and family is important. Resident camp ex-periences boost independence simply because children get to experience life away from their families.
- Self-awareness/empowerment: Living away from home in the residential community of summer camp enables children to learn all kinds of key lessons about themselves and the unique role they are capable of playing in a group. Many individuals who display valuable group development skills discovered them at camp.
- Social skills: Camp experiences build social skills. Living closely with strangers in a small space (cabin, bunk, tent, or yurt) provides added incentive to learn the give and take necessary for successful community living. The ability to get along with others and the chance to develop tried and true methods of making friends, make the transition to college much easier for experi-enced campers.
- Independence: Camp requires children to take care of them-selves and their stuff. And, when problems arise, camp living enables children to rely on themselves for solutions or to reach out to others who can assist them. A rescue from a loving family member isn't an option. It's not an option at college either.
- Community building skills: Experienced resident campers know first-hand how to be members of the community, a tremendously important skill in making a successful transition to a new college or university environment.
For more information, visit www.ACANewEngland.org or call (781) 541-6080.
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