Social and Emotional Learning at Camp

Recovery from the trauma of the pandemic will be an important goal for camps this summer. It’s going to be a big lift, and we know you are ready for it! Aside from the usual, wonderful ways our campers play and dance and laugh, we should be thinking about new methods for helping campers talk about this past year and goals for the future.

For many children, understanding what they have been through in the pandemic is still hard to grasp. There has been so much isolation, fear, and loss that the process for coping will take months, if not years.

School Breaks Shouldn't be a Break from Learning

School breaks are not the time to take a break from learning. Unfortunately, this is what often happens, resulting in a significant drop in students’ mastery of core concepts. The National Summer Learning Association reports that students lose an equivalent of two months of their grade-level math computational skills over the summer, and students from low-income families also lose the same equivalency in reading achievement.

Summer Learning Resources

During the summer children experience “summer learning loss” when they are not involved in high quality programs with opportunities for skill building.  As a result, young people can forget up to 2 months of academic instruction, particularly in the areas of reading and math when they are not in school. Camps and other youth development programs provide the opportunity to reduce summer learning loss in an expanded learning environment where children are engaged experientially and have an opportunity for additional academic enrichment. 

Summer Reading Challenge - How Camps Can Help Campers Reach a New World Record

Recent research from The Kids & Family Reading Report indicates that 91% of kids say that their favorite books are the ones they picked out themselves — and summer is the perfect time for kids to enjoy those fun books.

Camp Was Made For Summer Learning

June 19 is National Summer Learning Day, a time to reflect on what summer learning means and what summer learning loss implies. In a March 2009 interview in support of year-round schools with OnPoint Radio, U.S Secretary of Education Arne Duncan referred to summer vacation as “an inexplicable, counterproductive, anachronism that takes youth out of an educational setting for two to three months every year” (Duncan, 3/5/2009). He went on to imply a year-round school year would remedy the losses reflected in self-confidence, and most notably, test scores.