Sleepaway Camping for Kids in the US

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I never wanted to leave. I truly thought my life was ending on that August day in 2010 as the Peter Pan bus pulled off the dirt bumpy road in New Hampshire on its trek back to the Bloomingdales parking lot in Connecticut. The night before, I stood on the shore of New Found Lake looking out at the horizon on my last night, arm and arm with my sisters, tears streaming down our faces as our beloved director quoted, "You never really leave a place you love; part of it you take with you, leaving a part of yourself behind." Throughout the years, I have taken so much of what I learned those seven summers with me. I can undoubtedly say that Camp Wicosuta is the happiest place on earth; my second and most memorable home. Camp was more than just fun even as I smile recalling every campfire, color-war competition, and bunk bonding activity I participated in. It was an opportunity to learn, be independent, apart of an integral community, and thrive in a new and safe environment. I recognize that camp played an essential role in who I am today.
Attending sleepaway camp has long been a summertime tradition for kids across the United States. According to the American Camp Association, there are more than 7,000 resident camps in the U.S (ACA Facts and Trends 1). Whether it is a traditional camp with arts & crafts, sports, and theater or a special-interest camp, the campers build the same lifetime skills. Although some kids have a genetic predisposition to such important lifetime qualities, most do not. Every sleepaway camp has the same formula that enables kids to learn, practice, and improve upon important values and traits. Similar to mission statements across the board, Camp Wicosuta’s goal “is for every child to walk away feeling confiden...

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...ver, the challenges they encountered at camp are automatically used in all aspects of their daily life.
There are dozens of benefits that camp graciously gives to campers which influence their daily life including friendships, independence, community, and competence. These universal values and skills are learned at all 7,000 sleepaway camps across the nation, creating more aware, socially conscious, and community oriented children from a young age. The tradition of camp will continue to exist due to the benefits it patently has. Although an adult can be successful without going to sleepaway camp; the exposer camp gives kids at a young age is incredibly beneficial. While camp influences who you become as an adult, it achieves its goal through a magical and memorable experience - something a lifetime camper will recognize and be thankful for as they reach adulthood.

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