Decades ago, kids would take to the outdoors during the summer months. Today, many kids are more disconnected from nature and are less engaged in outside activities. According to the American Camp Association, children have lost 12 hours of free time a week over the last 20 years – eight of these lost hours were once spent in unstructured play and outdoor activities.
But getting outdoors is essential to developing the spirit, mind and body of school age children and teens, says YMCA of Greater Erie Vice President of Early Care & School-Age Enrichment Jill Simmons and camping is an ideal setting for doing just that.
“Camping is synonymous with personal development. It provides kids with the opportunity to practice social and decision making skills that are new to them,” says Simmons. “Kids come to camp and make new friends, learn new skills, handle new responsibilities, and make memories that will last a lifetime.”