5 Benefits to Family Camp

Parents across the country pick their children up from camp to hear them tell tales of new friends, singing songs around the campfire, and other unique programming, such as rock star lessons, swimming with manatees, rock climbing, and even trapeze lessons! Listening attentively, parents find themselves wishing they could have gone to camp too, and now, they can!

Family camp programs, one of the fastest growing camp trends, allow two or three generations within a family to attend camp together! In fact, there has been a 215 percent increase in family camp programs in the past 15 years. To demonstrate why there has been such a sharp increase in family camp programs, the American Camp Association (ACA) presents the top five benefits of a family camp experience:

1. According to ACA research, the average age for first-time campers is seven. Many families are discovering that for younger children, a family camp experience serves as excellent training wheels for a later residential camp experience.

2. A family camp experience brings together not only immediate family members, but also provides the opportunity for multiple generations and extended family members to bond. Family camp programs offer families who are spread across the country or even the globe to spend time together, share stories around the campfire, and to just have fun.

3. Every family is unique, and sometimes finding a family vacation that fits the needs and interests of each individual family member may be difficult. Luckily, families have access to family camp programs! Whether for a weekend, a week, or more, families arrive at camp where a variety of activities are available to suit nearly every interest.

4. Children and adults alike are more plugged in today than ever. From MP3 Players to computers and TV, families are tuned into the media and entertainment industries—leaving them without opportunities to communicate as a family. Camp gives families a chance to unplug and to unite, opening the lines of communication.?
5. Camp provides children and adults a safe and nurturing environment to learn new things and take healthy risks… At camp it may be grandma’s first time to ride a horse or dad’s first time to go canoeing. Families share learning experiences, allowing them to view one another in a different light and bring them all closer.

To find a family camp program for any family, visit ACA’s family-dedicated Web site, www.CampParents.org. As parents and families plan for summer activities with their children, the American Camp Association is a resource for all information about camp—from the benefits of camp to what to pack.