DARIEN, Conn. -- In today’s world, it is very important to get our youth back outdoors and engaged in natural, social behaviors, instead of being glued to a couch, buried in technology. Summer camp is recognized by child development professionals as a valuable asset in helping children mature socially, emotionally, intellectually, morally, and physically.
Summer camp is a great way to keep kids physically active during the summer months. It provides an opportunity for kids to figure out what type of physical activities they enjoy and can incorporate into their days outside of camp.
In the classroom environment there is always the chance of a child being left out, or made to feel like they don’t belong in a certain group of friends, but at summer camp everyone has to work together. Children having to learn to work together creates a less stressful environment and helps children develop their social intelligence without social expectations from their peers.
At the Darien Y Summer Camp, there are many opportunities to connect with nature. A large portion of the day is spent outside and on the water through the Y’s sailing and canoeing program. As children become more acclimated with the outdoors, they are given more opportunities to be creative and innovative. They learn to use the environment around them for entertainment, as opposed to a television screen.
At summer camp, children learn to take initiative in order to accomplish various challenges, while also building confidence. There is no other option but to keep trying, even if at first they don’t succeed. This also teaches problem-solving skills and confidence to kids as they continue working towards a solution.
In school, it’s easy for kids to avoid situations that make them uncomfortable which can cause them to miss out on important life lessons. Summer camp instills in children the power of teamwork. Working through challenging situations with others they may not be inclined to work with is a crucial life-lesson to learn at a young, impressionable age.
Darien YMCA Summer Camp registration for children ages 3-15 began Tuesday, Feb. 2 at 10 a.m. for returning campers and siblings with Darien Y memberships. Darien Y members who are residents of Darien registered beginning Feb. 4 at 10 a.m., Darien Y members who are not residents of Darien began registration February 9 at 10 a.m., and open registration to all non-members begins, February 11 at 10 a.m.
For more information about the Darien Y’s summer camp offerings, please visit the Y's website here .
Suzanne Richards is the Director of School-Age Programs for the Darien YMCA