Inside: Find unique summer camp ideas to make new connections, start friendships and work on social skills.
What’s the weirdest thing your kids have ever done at camp?
Last year, my kids went to a Wildlife Summer Camp and ate bugs. Seriously. We took pictures.
They loved their camp. They got to take care of all sorts of animals, hold snakes, and learn new things about the creatures they saw every day. But what was even cooler is that they met kids who shared a common interest in animals. This was the perfect opportunity for them find and make new friends.
Finding new friends who share your interests at camp was exactly what I thought about when I went to visit Guard Up in Burlington, MA. The first time I heard about this camp was when the Director, Meghan Gardner, reached out to me. She sent me the coolest video here:
I recently got a chance to visit this place, and what struck me immediately was that this was a place where kids could go to meet other kids who have similar interests, and this is the perfect place to find and develop new friendships.
They offer Wizards and Warriors, which would appeal to those kids and teens who have an interest in Harry Potter. The camp is divided into houses, very similar to the Harry Potter series. The kids create their own characters and get a chance to role play. This allows for kids who may be stuck in a particular role (the “shy” kid for example), to try on a different persona in a safe and supportive environment.
Maybe your child is more into zombies; then they would be a better fit for the Zombie STEM summer camp. In a similar fashion to Wizards and Warriors, they are also divided into different groups and create a character for themselves.
The swords and other weapons are foam, and look so cool!! In both camps, their adventures rely on STEM-based activities.
Most impressive to me is the incredible social skills aspect of these programs. Kids work together and solve problems, and have real opportunities to show courage and compassion, and get real chances to teach one another. What is phenomenal to see is that often campers graduate to being counselors in training, and get to practice leadership skills.
The connections that kids make with others is fantastic. They find and establish new friendships. Not only do the campers do that, but families connect and make new friends as they’re in the waiting room too.
If you’re looking for a camp for kids, try something different, and that is an interest for your child. This gives them a great opportunity to find people who have a common interest and is a potential meeting place where new friendships can begin.
If Guard Up isn’t your speed, here are some other ideas for you to search near you:
Timbernook is a nature-based outdoor camp program that runs year round. They have several locations in the US and around the world.
Do you have other ideas for unique camp experiences? Let me know!!