A quick Google search for “what stresses kids out?” will produce thousands of results discussing all of the things kids and teenagers have to stress out about. As our country leans more towards standardize testing each year, students are bogged down with learning how to take a test, and riddled with anxiety about a single test that could mean the difference between advancing to the next grade, or not. Kids and teens say they spend a lot of time worrying about their grades, their next big test, their homework, and what they need to do pass. Older students worry about graduation, getting into the right colleges and finding a career they love. And on top of all of the academic pressure they face, add ranging hormones, peer pressure, relationships, heart breaks and attempting to live up to the standards set by the media, it’s no wonder kids are burnt out and need a break.
Young people cannot, and should not, have to face a life of stress, worry and pressure as adults too. Their young minds and spirits are not built for that, and it is crucial that they have an outlet and a reprieve from all of the stress they face each day. If they don’t get a break, they will make a way to escape the stress, and all too often their escape plans involve drugs, drink and risky behavior. Instead of leaving it up to them to manage their stress, we as a parents and a community need to call a “time out” and make sure they are getting time to be kids. This is the perfect opportunity to put all of their worries and responsibilities on hold and allow them to relax. Sending them to summer camp gives them a chance to just have fun, make friends and engage in activities that they enjoy.
The great thing about summer camp is that campers continue to grow emotionally and mentally; they are continually learning how to be a better person, friend, child, sibling, and student. They have responsibilities and commitments here just as they do at camp. They are faced with various social situations (making new friends, respecting authority, handling conflict) and taught how to deal with each one appropriately. Campers will be able to take these skills home with them, and use them to manage and alleviate much of the stress they face on a regular basis.
Getting some time away is a great way for young people to relax and recharge, and gives them the energy and positive attitude they need to get back into their every day life and confidently handle whatever comes their way.
If you feel that your child has a lot on their plate, give them the gift of an action packed summer, and watch them come back to their academic, social and relational responsibilities with a brand new attitude.