Choose Camp. By: Scott Hicok

Let me start with this - is anyone else sick of the political ads yet? I thought so.

We spend so much time concerned with these political choices. Sometimes I worry that we don’t have equal concern for the smaller choices. Are we choosing the things that are best for our lives? Are we considering how the choices we make benefit our families and our kids? So this year, in light of the obnoxious political ads I’d like to ask you to consider a more fun choice, and one that will definitely benefit your family. I want you to choose camp!

3 HUUUGE Reasons to Choose Camp

1. Kids need to learn to love nature

At Camp Ocean Pines one of our main goals is called explore. It means we want kids to get outside, get a little dirty, and get into all the nature they miss out on so often. But we don’t just want to get them into nature - we want to show them how cool it is! We want them to kayak with a sea otter, see a breaching whale, or just sit under the shade of a new favorite tree. Making nature cool helps kids develop a love for it that can even match their love for video games or TV. No, seriously. How do we know?

Surveys of our parents tell us:

  • 95% of kids enjoyed living in an outdoor setting

  • 93% experienced something in nature they enjoyed

  • 78% want to spend more time outdoors after camp

2.  Kids need to learn to love themselves

If we can learn anything from our current political season it is that bullying is alive and well in America. Our kids are being challenged everyday to feel good about themselves. Bullies at school or online, the need to be cool and look a certain way, it can easily overwhelm a young person. Our focus is on helping realize how great they are - exactly as they are! We say we love awkward kids and we mean it. We love all kids and we want them to have an experience where they can feel great about all they are on the inside. Are we doing it?

Surveys of our parents tell us:

  • 86% enjoyed trying something new at camp

  • 97% got positive encouragement

  • 86% of kids feel more confident after camp

3. Kids need to learn how to be kids!

We ask a lot of kids now. Homework and challenging schoolwork starts at a younger age. We even have grade schoolers at camp who are already worried about where they’ll go to college!! We believe that kids need a chance to be a kid, and to spend just as much time learning social skills and as they spend on math or reading. Everyone needs to know how to make a friend! Everyone needs to know how to get along in a group! We don’t assume this is something every kid will just pick up as they go - we focus on it - we design our program around, and we value the result. At Camp Ocean Pines leaving with a new friend is the best thing that can ever happen at camp. So is it actually happening?

  • 99% of kids made a new friend or connected with old ones

  • 83% learned positive social skills

  • 74% of kids seem more prepared for social environments

Choose Camp

As I wrap this up I want to focus on that last stat for a second. 74% of kids’ parents told us that they seemed more prepared for social environments. Of everything we do at camp, that might just be the best! It isn’t something they teach in school. Yet it is so vital for how we do in life! Doesn’t every parent want to drop their child off at a sleepover, a sports game, or even a school dance, and know that they will be fine? That they will make friends, get along with others, and enjoy themselves?

So this year, with all the crazy choices you’re being asked to weigh in on, take 10 minutes and make a really great choice - choose camp

www.campoceanpines.org/register