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Now that more and more adults and children are vaccinated and the number of COVID cases is going down, things are starting to return to near normal. Kids will be looking forward to going to camp this summer. And, with summer camps limiting spaces again this year, the camps will fill up quickly. Sending your child to summer camp has always been an important way to let them try new things and learn new skills. A five-year study of 18–to –25–year–old former campers by the American Camp Association proved that summer camps helped these individuals have more success in high school, college and in their career by providing social skills, leadership skills and more. (This study can be found at www.acacamps.org/resource-library/research/ camp-impact-study).

Getting a child out of their comfort zone and attending a summer camp with new kids and new adult role models can help the shy child become more outgoing, learn teamwork and develop leadership skills.

At summer camps kids make new friends that might become friends for a lifetime. Kids can gain confidence by working together to problem-solve, and they might try a new skill like cooking, pottery, archery, rock climbing, canoeing or horseback riding.

Summer camps are a great way to get your child to unplug from technology. Instead of spending time watching television or being on a cell phone, tablet or the Internet, kids can experience the outdoors, nature and animals or even get bold enough to scale a rock wall or try zip lining.

Take a look through Bear’s Summer Camp Guide and see what your child can discover this summer. There are camps that teach acting, dancing, history, swimming, arts, sports, academics, STEM and STEAM, and even animal care.

Some camps are day camps where campers are dropped off in the morning and return home in the afternoon, and there are resident camps where campers spend about five days away from home in a cabin or cabana.

Most camps explain what to expect from their camps, CDC guidelines and safety and more on their websites.

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