When I was in college, I learned about A/B testing in marketing class, the idea that you could test two different messages on two different audiences to measure and compare their effectiveness. For example, let’s say I was writing a letter to people who had attended summer camp.
Dear Camp Alumni:
Camp is awesome. See you again this summer!
That’s all I need to write because this group already gets it.
If you’ve never been to camp, you might be wondering what they get that you don’t. You might also be quite surprised at how much camp has to offer. With apologies to face painting, water fights, and any other clichés you may have seen in the movie version, here are ten of the most valuable reasons to send your kids to camp.
At CYJ, your children will….
10. Be active: Remember the days when kids would play sports not with a joystick but with their legs? Basketball, soccer, swimming, and just being mobile every day, camp will have your kids on their feet! (Is it even called a “joystick” anymore? I think I just dated myself.)
9. Build self-esteem: There is no substitute for the formal learning of school but sometimes, our most important lessons happen outside the classroom. Without the normal academic, athletic, and social pressures, your child can flourish at the activity of his or her choice, and at his or her own speed. With so many different opportunities, camp truly has something for everyone.
8. Overcome adversity: Let’s be honest though. Rome wasn’t built in a day and even in their favorite activity, campers probably won’t flourish overnight. With supportive staff encouraging them along the way, a setback is a growth opportunity, not a failure.
7. Disconnect: Remember life before the internet, phones, and tablets? Your kids don’t. There’s a whole world in front of our eyes and while technology has brought us infinite new opportunities, giving the brain a rest is healthy for both mind and body. Your kids will connect with their creative side in a community of youthful imagination.
6. Develop skills for life: Remember what I said about camp providing something for everyone? I wasn’t kidding. Arts, adventure, athletics, and more, the sheer number of options aren’t just there for fun, they provide opportunities for campers to explore their likes and talents. Many alumni attribute their professional and leadership skills directly to experiences they had at camp.
5. Learn independence: Our kids can’t live without us…but it doesn’t hurt to practice for just a few weeks. From tasks like dressing or cleaning to interpersonal challenges like resolving an issue with a friend, camp is the perfect environment to learn how to make decisions alone. Even if every decision isn’t the right one, as we said above, these are setbacks for growth, not failures.
4. Enjoy unstructured play time: As we race to drive our child from school to piano lessons to math tutoring, we live in a society of rigid schedules. Included in our daily schedule is the most un-rigid activity possible: free time. Whether campers want to play games, read, or laugh with friends, our goal is to encourage carefree leisure time to relax and take a healthy break from the fast pace of life.
3. Learn social skills: Camp only works because of our emphasis on community. The bunk is the smallest, most tight-knit unit at camp, and it is there where we begin by creating an environment of respect and co-existence. Our staff will help your children along the way to share a living space, overcome disagreements, and improve honest communication.
2. Connect with nature: With acres of beautiful green space, we are not only unplugging from our devices, we are plugging into a gorgeous facility. How many of us can walk outside our houses and see the stars at night? Your campers will rediscover (or discover) the beauty of nature in our peaceful home in the Texas Hill Country.
1. Make true friends: If you’re on board with everything so far, this one shouldn’t be surprising. When people come together to open their hearts and minds and to be part of something bigger than themselves, magic happens. Singing, laughing, talking, dancing, dreaming, and learning to be comfortable in their own skin…many people look back at camp as the place they made the most real friends of their lives.
We invite you to be a part of this magical community.
From Frank, CYJ Camp Director