It’s that time again, kids are out of school and you’re wondering what you could possibly do with them for the next 3 months, right?! Although summer camps can be a great way to provide out of school ‘daycare’, there are so many other wonderful benefits that camp has for your children, no matter your circumstance!
Besides the obvious benefits of mental stimulation and physical activity, summer camp can grow and expand your child’s development. While diving into their interests, kids learn social skills with their peers and inner self-esteem through independence. At Rebel Nell, we’ve made summer camp an annual thing for our Designers’ kids. Here are some of the reasons why:
Trying something new in a space safe - Because let’s face it, how many kids can learn archery or go horseback riding somewhere in Detroit?! Getting introduced to things they’ve never seen before expands a child worldview and what they think is possible.
Taking a deep dive into what they already love - So many camps are designed around specific interests, allowing kids to deepen their knowledge and experience in whatever they love. This exposure is can eventually influence career and life decisions!
Helps kids unplug and go back into nature! - We’re not sure kids nowadays even know what that feels like?! Camp is a great way to remind them there’s still magic in the world, without electronics.
Fosters teamwork and relating to peers - Friendships blossom at summer camp because kids are spending time with other kids. Sometimes they’re surrounded by kids who like the same things. Sometimes they’re working together to achieve some kind of common goal (remember capture the flag?). Working in a team is a great way for a child to find out what their strengths are and to make new friends.
Allows them to reinvent who they are - School can be rough. Kids at school can be mean, picking on those who are different...or as we like to think UNIQUE! For kids, their bullying can, at times, feel like it’s never going to end. At camp, kids get introduced to others’ who they don’t know, allowing them to reinvent themselves. Summer camp is a great way for kids to realize that not everybody is going to know them forever as ‘the booger kid’ and that it’s okay to be yourself - whatever that is.
Keeps them in a routine while doing something new - Summer camp keeps the brain sharp and your kids sharp too! Who needs to get used to sleeping in until 12pm? You can’t do that in the real world!
Independence grows - Nothing like spending time away from your parents to make you feel more like an ‘adult’. You have to solve your own problems, make your own decisions and accomplish tasks by yourself!
Here’s a couple in the city that we’ve found and love and sent our children to....
Camp Africa at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
WHAT: Camp Africa is a free, one-week summer camp experience for children exploring STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) activities.
WHEN: July 2nd - Early August (One week experiences), Monday—Friday, 8am to 3pm
July 2-6 (closed on July 4th) - July 9-13 - July 16-20 - July 23- July 27 - July 30 - August 3
Camp Burt Shurly
WHAT: Hands-on experiential educational lessons in reading, math and science; they will learn how to live in a community setting, meet new friends, learn new skills, spend their days immersed in nature and experience life away from home in a safe environment.
AGES: 8-12 years
RATES: FREE - But must live and attend school in one of the specified districts.
Michigan Women’s Foundation: UGO Girls on Campus
WHAT: Residential leadership camp
AGES: Girls entering grades 9th - 12th.
Scholarships can be available to families who need more financial assistance so don’t ever let cost scare you away from summer camp! Reach out to the camp directly to find out what options may be available to you.
But if camp’s not the right fit, there’s a couple other resources available for you.
The Hubbard Branch provides a free summer lunch program for children up to age 17 weekdays all summer. Activities include arts & crafts, reading, table activities, movies, computer activities, etiquette training, self-esteem, motivation, cooking classes, chess and more. Check out your local libraries events.
The City of Detroit’s Summer Food Service Program provides free nutritious breakfasts and lunches at sites throughout the city. The program runs mid-June through the end of August, Monday through Friday. Breakfast is from 9-10 a.m. and lunch is served noon until 2 p.m. Find your neighborhood Meet Up and Eat Up site by dialing 2-1-1, texting "Food" to 877-877 or checking out the map here.
Children’s Summer Education Experience is a free program for children in grades 1-5 at St. Vincent and Sarah Fisher Center in Detroit. The program offers individualized summer education, reading and math skill building. Runs July through August. Each day’s activities are 1-4 p.m. To register please visit the Main Campus at 16800 Trinity St. Detroit, MI 48219 to complete a Children’s Program application.
Now go enjoy your summer - with or without the kids!