- Campers learn social and citizenship skills that help them live harmoniously with a diverse group of people at camp – and many of those campers will become life-long friends – as well as back at home.
- A summer residential camp fosters a love and appreciation for the natural world.
- Campers experince great personal development growth and become more self confident and open up to trying new experiences and learning new skills.
- Campers adopt positive attitudes towards a healthy and active life style that they follow when back home.
- And at an Accredited Camp your child be given the quality and proper level of supervision and guidance that she/he needs.
The Camping Association fully endorses and supports the Nova Scotia Department of Community Culture and Heritage and Recreation Nova Scotia’s Shared Strategy for Advancing Recreation in Nova Scotia. The Shared Strategy is comprised of five key pillars or goal areas which are:
Goal 1: Active Living
to foster active, healthy living through recreation.
Goal 2: Inclusion and Access to increase inclusion and access to recreation for populations that face constraints to participation.
Goal 3: Connecting People and Nature to help people connect to nature through recreation.
Goal 4: Supportive Environments to ensure the provision of supportive physical and social environments that encourage participation in recreation and build strong, caring communities.
Goal 5: Recreation Capacity to ensure the continued growth and sustainability of the recreation field.
Our Member Camp’s summer recreational programs truly fulfills all of the five key goal areas.
One of the fundamental pillars of the new Share Strategy is for provincial recreation organizations to support fostering physical literacy among Nova Scotians. Physical literacy is defined as the motivation, confidence, physical competence, knowledge and understanding to value and take responsibility for engagement in physical activities for life.
For our Member Camps supporting and fostering physical literacy for our campers is precisely and exactly what we value and do everyday at Camp. While not all of our Member Camps offer all the following programming, at most of our Members Camp your children or teens will have the opportunity to participate and developed their physical literacy skills across a wide range recreational activity during their camping session, including such great and fun activities as:
- canoeing and/or kayaking
- low ropes, or
- high ropes
- various sports such as soccer or volleyball
- skill enhancing camp wide games and team challenges
Parents who send their children to camp are giving them an experience that will reap benefits for a lifetime. Sometimes thoughtful grandparents offer such a gift knowing that they could not select a more lasting, valuable present. While the child is at camp, they can exchange letters or enjoy a visit, and when the child returns, they can participate in the life of their grandchild in a very special way by listening to all the camp stories! Recently, a friend enthusiastically described how beneficial camp had been for her hyperactive grandson. At the end of each day, after playing in the out-of-doors with his new friends under the guidance of a patient counselor, he returned home more relaxed and content. In fact, recent research indicates that direct exposure to a natural environment is essential to the physical and emotional health of all children. Camp provides a child-centered environment where the hurry, stress and demands of modern life are almost totally eliminated.
As a former camp director, I have witnessed the benefits of a good camp experience. Whether a child leaves home for a full day at camp or attends a resident camp for a week or longer, he develops his independence and grows in confidence. Camp encourages children to be self-reliant. As one camp parent expressed it, “I marveled as to how two weeks could make such a difference in such a young life – but it really did. I think developing skills and friendships in a setting away from home builds tremendous confidence.”
At camp, children learn skills that enable them to pursue an active lifestyle, safely and competently. A wide variety of activities caters to a multitude of interests. As well as encouraging physical activity, some camps offer musical, artistic and intellectual programs. Together, the parent and child need to research and select a program that fits the needs and interests of the individual.
Another long-term benefit of attending camp is creating a group of special friends. Camp friends become lifelong friends. Special bonds develop when children live and play together twenty-four/seven. Recently, as part of my research for a book on an Ontario girls’ camp, I spent the afternoon with a group of women in their seventies and eighties who first met as young campers and still gather regularly to share their news and sing old camp songs!
Camp is the ideal setting to learn co-operation. Countless opportunities arise every day: cleaning the cabin, gathering wood for the campfire, creating a cabin skit or paddling a canoe. With the guidance of their counselor, campers learn to share, to compromise and sometimes yield to the needs of others. As families become smaller, and there are fewer siblings to have to accommodate to, children can learn these valuable lessons while living in a camp group.
Living in the out doors, encourages children to respect and appreciate the natural environment. They learn to walk on paths and not to trample new growth unnecessarily. They learn to build fires using only as much dry wood as is needed to cook their meal.
They discover the wonder of the night sky or the glory of a sunset. Far from the cacophony of the city, they are able to discern the sounds of the forest and sometimes the sound of silence. After his initial experience in a wilderness environment, one urban youth discovered, “Here you hear things; in the city you can’t hear anything because you hear everything.” Exposure to the natural environment encourages the development of the senses, which enhances learning and creativity.
Campers are exposed to a healthy, balanced lifestyle that encourages good habits: regular, nutritious meals; adequate rest and an abundance of exercise. Even picky eaters learn to be more adventurous in their food choices when they arrive in the dining room after a full active day. Each day’s program offers maximum opportunity for fun and creativity and minimal exposure to sedentary technology. Social interaction predominates with some opportunity for solitary pursuits. Throughout the day, campers are guided by young counselors who are fun, fit, skilled, patient and caring. They are excellent role models for impressionable youth.
Children have so much fun at camp they are likely unaware of all the valuable skills and lessons they are learning and the long-term benefits they are realizing. But in the meantime, they are storing up a lifetime of happy memories!
From the Ontario Camps Association website: