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June 20, 2014

Summer Camp Goes Beyond Fun and Games

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs the school year winds down and the summer season starts, parents are planning vacations, exploring camp options and looking forward to downtime. While summer camp is known to help prevent the summer slide—as well as produce weeks of fun—it has a tremendous impact on the development of a child’s social skills.

Science has established a direct link between social/emotional development and school success. Studies show that academic achievement within the first few years of school appear to be based on children’s social skills.

According to Christina Fecio, director of education and training at Doodle Bugs! Children’s Centers, skills gained through summer camp include:

-Ability to get along with others (parents, teachers, peers)

-Following directions

-Identifying and regulating one’s emotions and behaviors

-Thinking of appropriate solutions to conflict

-Persisting on task

-Engaging in social conversation and cooperative play

-Feeling good about oneself and others

“Summer camp is obviously fun and educational, but it also contributes to school readiness. Camp provides a low-pressure opportunity to boost those critical social skills in a fun, high-interest environment,” Fecio said. “That means just a few weeks of summer camp each season can directly impact the development of those skills for all ages of campers. In addition, children in the Doodle Bugs! program can get a robust summer experience without having to be enrolled in four or five specialty camps. Summer friendships and social skills develop hand-in-hand as children bond over shared interests.”

Those social skills emerge and develop through collaborative projects, cooperative and competitive games and sports. The Doodle Bugs! summer camp is designed to not only provide learning opportunities through specific activities, but promote social and emotional skills through clubs and events. For example, the “Let the Games Begin” themed week includes cooperative and competitive activities to promote team-building skills, and “Science Spectacular” week lets campers learn from each other through experiments and inventions, and “Carnival Days” creates the perfect chance to collaborate with fellow campers to create fun, interactive carnival games and attractions.

Doodle Bugs! Summer Camp consists of two programs, specifically designed for children ages three to five and five to 12. The camp has flexible scheduling options and includes breakfast, lunch and afternoon snacks.