The American Camp Association® (ACA) is excited to learn that First Daughter Malia will be attending camp for four weeks this summer. In an interview last week, the President announced that his oldest daughter would be joining the millions of children who attend camp each summer.
Camp is essential to the education and development of the whole child, developing authentic relationships, fostering a connection with nature
, and encouraging participation in human powered activities. Camp allows children to relax and enjoy just being kids. There is a camp experience for every child, including those residing in the White House.
“The ACA community of over 7,000 members applauds President and Mrs. Obama for making the decision to send their daughter to camp,” said ACA chief executive officer Peg Smith. “Camp has been an amazing, life-changing experience for millions of children and youth for the past 150 years. The benefits of camp extend far beyond childhood — helping children develop the life skills needed to become successful adults.”
According to ACA’s Youth Development Outcomes
study, 96 percent of campers said that camp helped them make new friends. Ninety-two percent of campers reported that camp helped them feel good about themselves. Correspondingly, parents reported that children gained self-confidence at camp (70 percent) and continued to stay in contact with camp friends (69 percent).
However, camp is not just about making memories and friends. Involvement in intentional programs, like camp, can help stem summer learning loss and keep children engaged and sharp throughout the summer months. In addition, studies show that interaction in nature can help reduce existing stress and help children better respond to future stresses. Camp allows children to take healthy risks in a safe and nurturing environment — developing self-esteem, leadership skills, and independence.