Fun and Engaging Summer Camp Activities that Foster Child Development

3 minute read

Summer Camp Staff Can Encourage Children to Develop a Lifelong Love of Books

Using imagination is an important part of camp!
Using imagination is an important part of camp!
Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Summer camp is a rite of passage for many American children and is a great way for kids to learn new skills, from fishing and building a campfire to swimming and playing a musical instrument. Today, summer camps can also advance children’s literacy through reading programs that help children develop a lifelong love of reading and books.

Playing games is an engaging way for summer camp staff to introduce children to the concept of narrative. Before heading out on a trek through the woods, camp leaders can encourage children to visualize themselves as characters from a popular book or to recreate scenes from a story. These techniques not only encourage children to read books and analyze the story, but also give their imaginations a workout.

Summer Camp Staff Can Teach Children About Art

Campers at Camp Stonewall enjoyed recreating Starry Night!
Campers at Camp Stonewall enjoyed recreating Starry Night!
Image courtesy of Camp Stonewall

Another key benefit of creating art projects in a camp environment is the diversity of materials that are available. For instance, summer camp staff can have kids draw cave paintings on rocks using chalk or create patterns in the sand using sticks. Nature also offers plenty of collage materials.

The possibilities for simple, fun, and engaging art projects are limited only by the camp leader’s imagination! It is important, however, for camp counselors to make sure the environment is left as they found it, and clean-up can be a great way to teach kids the importance of teamwork and responsibility.

Although slightly more challenging than individual projects, creating an art project as a group can be a tremendously rewarding experience for kids. Group activities teach children to work collabortively, and it can be gratifying for them to see their work of art come together through teamwork.

Summer Camp Staff Can Teach Kids the Value of Environmentalism

Introducing children to the natural world can be very rewarding.
Introducing children to the natural world can be very rewarding.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock

One of the most important things a child can take away from summer camp is a love of nature. From building campfires under a starry sky to catching a fish, summer camps provide kids with much needed ways to escape and connect with the natural world.

Camp staff can teach kids that even small actions can make a big difference. For example, children from urban areas may not be aware of the impact that littering can have on the environment. Having kids pick up after themselves while hiking through the woods can keep national parks and campsites clean and could translate to good habits they’ll maintain back home.

Of course, teaching kids about wildlife can be a great way for summer camp staff to approach environmental topics. North America has an abundance of interesting wildlife for children to discover while at camp. Kids may also take interest in the effects of deforestation on the natural habitats of different creatures, such as birds of prey. Teaching children the value of natural resources like those found in state parks is another lesson camp staff can facilitate, especially as some children may not realize that these open spaces require public funding to maintain.

With some forethought and planning, just about any camp activity can provide kids with a valuable lesson on the importance of preserving the splendor of nature and the national park system!

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InterExchange is proud to have an experienced team that is dedicated to international cultural exchange. We come from a variety of backgrounds, but nearly every member of our New York City-based staff has extensive experience traveling, working, or living abroad.

Camp USA
Camp USA

Work with kids and enjoy the American outdoors at camp.

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