What is a summer camp? Should I send my child to one?

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A summer camp is a facility that has supervised programs for children and teens. These programs can run from as short as half a day to several weeks. Traditional camps offer outdoor activities, sports, crafts, and wilderness exploration. On the other hand, specialty camps focus on providing intensive training and instruction on one or more skills like music, art, dance, sports, or academics; or they can be thematic like religious/spiritual (church camps), health-focused (weight-loss and healthy living camps), or youth leadership development.

With the current pandemic, camps are adapting their programs to meet guidelines set in Manitoba’s Phase 2 of Restoring Safe Services. In this phase, day camps are allowed, overnight camps are not permitted. Operators must also follow sanitation and infection prevention guidelines as well as limited occupancy and activity levels. Even if registrations are now open, facilities have cautiously pushed the start of their programs to July instead of June.

Why send your child to camp?

It is understandable that you may be worried about sending your child to camp at this time. But as mentioned, facilities will be following strict guidelines to ensure the safety and health of your kids. It’s a good option if you don’t want them to spend all summer on the computer at home.

Benefits of attending summer camp:

  1. Children learn social skills and make new friends.
  2. They learn independence, leadership and decision-making skills.
  3. Participation can boost your child’s confidence as they accomplish challenging activities and gain new skills.
  4. Camps nurture their inquisitive minds. They learn about the environment, nature and exploration.
  5. They have fun!

Finding a camp:

Your church, child’s school or the local YMCA-YWCA usually offer summer programs. You can also check:

You can also choose Virtual kids’ camps and programs (Our Kids) if you’d rather keep them at home. For other online resources to keep them busy and learning , go to Bored at home? Here are awesome resources for fun, learning, work and everything in between.

Article updated May 22, 2020.

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Community Resources

Are going back to work and need childcare services during the pandemic? Check the province’s programs and supports for you here: Child Care Services During COVID-19

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