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Camp — a Practical Solution to the Education Debate
In light of recent education debates — where one side argues that summer is a rite of passage for children, and the other side argues that extended school breaks interfere with learning time — the American Camp Association® (ACA) reminds families that a solution has been available to families for 150 years, combining the best parts of summer with real educational opportunities. The solution is camp.
Camp allows children to relax and just be kids. They can run, play, and get dirty. They develop friendships, have adventures, and sit in the grass and look at stars and fireflies. At the same time, they are learning hands-on lessons in math, writing, problem-solving, teamwork, and independence.
Camps do an excellent job of adapting to meet the needs of today’s families. And many camps recognize that today’s families need an extension of a traditional education. Camps often fill in the blanks left by declining school budgets, providing art and music programming. Or camp is used as an opportunity to focus on or develop new skills, such as language camps, sports camps, or computer camps.
More and more, camps are implementing intentional programs to directly address summer learning issues. Take for example Explore 30, a new ACA initiative, in which campers participate in 30 minutes of reading activity per day while at camp. To date, 217 camps are participating — that’s over 360,000 campers from 36 states! With partners like Sesame Workshop, Hatchette, Penguin Young Readers, Candlewick, and Balzer & Bray (HarperCollins) providing free reading resources to program participants, campers have an expanding library of options to choose from.
Whether it is an intentional reading program like Explore 3