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Luke Bell
Luke Bell

Summer Camp



A summer camp or sleepaway camp is a supervised program for children conducted during the summer months in some countries. Children and adolescents who attend summer camp are known as campers. Summer school is usually a part of the academic curriculum for a student to make up work not accomplished during the academic year (summer camps can include academic work, but is not a requirement for graduation).




Summer Camp



The traditional view of a summer camp as a woody place with hiking, canoeing, and campfires is changing, with greater acceptance of newer types of summer camps that offer a wide variety of specialized activities. For example, there are camps for the performing arts, music, magic, computer programming, language learning, mathematics, children with special needs, and weight loss. In 2006, the American Camp Association reported that 75 percent of camps added new programs. This is largely to counter a trend in decreasing enrollment in summer camps, which some argue to have been brought about by smaller family sizes and the growth in supplemental educational programs. There are also religiously affiliated summer camps, such as those run by Christian groups and various denominations of Judaism.


The primary purpose of many camps is educational, athletic, or cultural development. A summer camp environment may allow children to learn new skills in a safe and nurturing environment. Summer camp experience can have a lasting psychological impact on the development of a child.[1]


Girls' camps in the United States began to appear around 1900; many of the early camps were located in New England.[2] In 1900, there were fewer than 100 camps in the United States, but by 1918 over 1000 were in operation.[3] Early camps for girls were located in remote, natural areas, and many camps featured a water venue. There were outdoor activities such as canoeing, archery, and hiking. Other types of popular instruction involved handcrafts, dramatics, camp and fire-making. Campers slept in wigwams, tents, or open dormitories. Any of these options encouraged a camper to take responsibility for maintaining her own personal space and to develop self-sufficiency.[4]


Mimicking Native American traditions such as council fires and storytelling generated a sense of community and inspired campers to become conscientious members of a group.[4] Typically, girl campers wore their hair in a version of native style. Uniforms were standard in most camps, but braided hair and headbands were common attire for campers. For camp ceremonies and pageants, girls would dress in special Native inspired dresses, at times even contributing to the handiwork.[5] In this era, camps were considered to be a natural pathway for young girls to develop healthy bodies, self-assurance and a sense of community.[6]


In most camps in the United States, young adult supervisors are called counselors or "cabin leaders". In many camps, counselors are assigned to small groups of campers, called "bunks", "huts", "cabins", or "units", who participate in activities as a group, such as campfires, hiking, canoeing, swimming, nature lore, and arts and crafts. Counselors often share living accommodations with their group.


In the United States, counselors for residential camps are typically drawn from older teens and college-aged adults (early 20s) because of the temporary, seasonal and low-paying aspects of the work. International staff are often hired alongside their American counterparts through agencies who vet the staff beforehand. Overall camp supervision is typically done by older camp directors, who lead a team that includes cooks, sports instructors, a nurse, maintenance personnel and counselors. The director and the maintenance personnel have a longer-term affiliation with the summer camp. Professional camp staff organize the preparation of facilities and supplies for the camp season and supervise the maintenance of the camp during the off-season. Camp directors conduct the hiring of seasonal counselors, instructors, and support staff, often during job fairs held on campuses or on online job boards.[7][8]


At some camps, all campers stay overnight in cabins and eat all their meals in a cafeteria. At some camps, also known as day camps, the campers go home each night. Some other camps allow both day and overnight campers. In the US, residential camps that have overnight facilities are sometimes called "sleepaway camps".[citation needed] Summer camp is often the first time that children spend an extended period of time away from home.[citation needed]


The practice of running residential holidays for children away from their own home seems to have originated in Appenzell in the Alps in 1876, when Pastor Bion set up holiday camps in which children made tree-houses, sang songs, did drama, made kites and had adventure games.[citation needed] Post-war France used Pastor Bion's model to take children who had grown up during the war years, away from cities, and their scheme colonies de vacances became state-controlled, part of their state education system for all children.[citation needed] The American camps developed from a very different cultural root.[citation needed]


Some camps offer students the opportunity to explore a pre-college experience. Typically, students entering grades 10 through 12 stay in the college dormitories and attend summer classes run by college faculty. At the successful completion of a summer program, course credits are awarded, which in turn are accepted by most tertiary institutions. Typically, colleges in the United States and Canada offer these programs, as it serves as an introduction to students to entice them to attend the college as full-time students based upon a memorable summer experience.


Some camps, such as CTY and Duke TIP, are focused primarily on education or on educational-related activities, such as debate, history, or journalism. These camps are often run by colleges or universities, and are usually for children in junior or senior high school. Instruction in debate and speech is also available for middle school students and incoming high school students all over the country. Educational summer camps are different from summer schools as the summer camps often are not offered for school credit, and often have a significant focus on non-academic activities. Students for these programs are often invited or recruited.[citation needed] Many of these camps, such as Canada/USA Mathcamp and SSP, focus on a specific subject, such as mathematics or astronomy. These camps tend to have selective application processes involving problem solving or an essay about the applicant's interest in the subject.[9]


These provide high school students with the opportunity to study academic topics on a summer adventure travel program, typically in the wilderness or a foreign country. Many include community service as a component of the course. Others also offer college credit with the successful completion of the program.


Various camp programs offer preparation for the SAT Reasoning Test as part of a mixture of academic learning with summer fun. Often the SAT preparation is offered as a full morning immersion while the afternoons and evenings are geared towards homework and recreational activities. These camp programs often outsource their SAT component from test preparation companies like The Princeton Review or Kaplan who provide the teachers and resources.


Summer camps provide opportunities for children to learn hands-on. One of the oldest and longest-running science camps is the International Astronomical Youth Camp (IAYC) which began in 1969. So far, IAYCs have been held in 15 countries and have hosted 3,468 participants (1,700 unique), from 81 nationalities worldwide.[10]


Tech camps focus on technology education. These summer camps develop 21st-century skills in areas such as game design, 3D game creation, web design, graphic design, robot building, and programming languages. These summer camps are typically held on college campuses. Many universities now offer technology-focused camps in the summer as a way of reaching future students, generating revenue and providing community service outreach.


To meet a growing demand for language education, language camps have developed around the United States. Many of these summer programs are hosted by high schools. Colleges and universities have also created camps using their facilities to host younger students. Foreign countries have established summer schools in the United States to offer education regarding their culture and language. The growing popularity of summer language camps may be related to a growing interest in languages not typically offered in United States high school curricula. Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, and Korean are examples of languages in-demand that do not often appear in a curriculum.


Other camps have become summer training grounds for a variety of arts. Many offer elective classes in a range of creative and performing arts activities including visual arts, music, theater, speech, debate, dance, circus arts, rock and roll, magic and other specialties. Some of these programs have a narrow focus on one particular area, while others offer a wide range of programs. Due to the popularity of these activities, many traditional camps have added some elements of the visual and performing arts into their programs as well.


Oftentimes camps will have various totems or traditions that pass from one group of campers to the next, with each group adding something that denotes their time at the camp, often like a time capsule. Painted totems, wood carving, and show programs often accumulate as a sacred object that passes from one group to the next. Cheer camps have popularized the concept of a spirit stick.[11] Performing art camps often run 3 or 4 week sessions that culminate in some sort of performance that parents and families attend.


Summer camps can be found that offer intensive instruction in almost any sport imaginable, or that offer quality instruction and competition in a wide range of sports. Camps are split into groups of day camps and overnight camps. In the United States, overnight sports camps fall into two groups. The more traditional of these offer boys and girls the chance to learn and play many sports. Sessions are typically 3 to 8 weeks long, and some camps have multiple sessions. While many strong athletes attend these camps, a traditional sports camp program also serves the needs of less proficient athletes by having all campers compete on teams picked by ability, so all kids get a chance to contribute to their team's success in their daily competitions. Some of these camps have been operating for more than 100 years. These camps generally focus, through the medium of team sports, on the development of the whole child; not just how they are as an athlete, but also how they are as a person, a bunkmate, a teammate, and a friend. Many of these camps include a variety of non-sports programs as well for a more diverse experience. 041b061a72


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