We usually cringe at the extra pressures modern society puts on parents to overschedule and overcomplicate childhood. But, in this case, setting your kid up with the ideal camp experience for them could be the best way to keep childhood simple.
While every child is different and has different interests, consider bucking the trend of trying to use the once-lazy, free days of summer to cram in as much cultural enrichment, athletic training and academic spoon-feeding you can. We understand how hard it is to resist the temptation in today's world of the ever-increasing specialization of kids' activities. Sure you can take 8-10 weeks of summer vacation and enroll your child in a coding crash course, attempt to make them an expert debater at a model UN camp, or have them attempt algebra in 4th grade at a Russian Math School. At a minimum, you might be ruining your child’s summer. At its worse, you’re likely ruining his or her childhood.
And that’s not OK.
So allow us to present our own hand-selected roundup of nature-based, rugged camps that are sure to bring out the wild in your child.
You’re probably thinking, “But all camps get kids outdoors, hiking, swimming.” And, yes, most do. However, the camps that made our list claim a commitment to making nature the focus of the summer experience, often taking the emphasis off the extras like drama, arts and crafts, color wars for back to nature skills like wildlife tracking, hiking, trekking, survival skills, pioneering, convening with nature, self-reliance in nature. In essence, they value the role of nature in the social and emotional development of kids and are designed to foster the relationship between nature and child.
A note that we have no monetary arrangement with any of these camps and no connection to them. In fact, we haven’t attended these camps (though we wish we did) and are not recommending them from personal experience. They just look pretty awesome to us.