Is a good education worth investing in? The U.S. government has been grappling with this question and whether to cut $85 million out of the federal education budget. According to research from the American Camp Association (ACA), over the summer, children can forget up to two months of academic learning, particularly in the areas of reading and math. Camps and other youth development programs provide the opportunity to reduce summer learning loss in an environment where children are engaged experientially and have opportunities for additional academic enrichment.
The best camp programs teach values such as self-esteem, teamwork and caring, and are an extension of education’s traditional focus on “the three Rs,” reading, ’riting and ’rithmetic. At camp, children learn a different set of Rs: respect, responsibility, resourcefulness and resilience. These skills are needed to help children become successful adults. At a time when creative arts and physical education are deemed expendable during the school day, camp can build these skills through programs focused on music, art and a variety of athletic activities.
Girl Scout camp is a single-gender summer camp that gives girls the opportunity to “find themselves” and gain confidence while exploring nature and trying new things without the self-consciousness they might feel in a co-ed environment. At Girl Scout camp, girls experience nature, find opportunities to lead, and form friendships that can last a lifetime. They do this through activities such as visiting the Cape Cod Observatory to see stars close up, learning about diverse aquatic life at Wood’s Hole Aquarium, talking about art with a local artist, building a campfire with one match, using a compass on a hike through Arcadia National Park or the White Mountains, or practicing teamwork on a white water rafting trip. Girl Scout camp programs have evolved to meet girls’ interests and make learning fun.
“My daughter took a leadership position within her unit at summer camp, working to resolve conflicts among some of the other campers. She now applies those skills to other groups, as well,” says a parent of a camper.
Girl Scout of Eastern Massachusetts offers 4 resident, 9 day and 3 family camp programs for girls entering grades K-12, including Counselor in Training (CIT) and internship opportunities for older girls. With camps located throughout eastern Massachusetts and in central and southern New Hampshire, there is something for every girl. Girl Scout camp offers many traditional activities such as campfires, drama programs, and arts & crafts, and offers adventure activities such as sailing, surfing, kayaking, horseback riding, ropes courses, challenge walls, and much more.
All girls are invited to attend summer camp (prior Girl Scout membership is not required). Financial assistance is available. To learn more about the programs offered, please visit www.hercamp.org or call 617-350-8335.