By Sarah Van Heuverswyn
Despite social distancing measures, we still have some wonderful and fun things to do here in Toronto. We have parks, the Toronto Zoo and can discover beautiful nature trails in our magnificent ravine network. Still, nothing can replace the joy of the great Canadian wilderness, and that is one reason why camp is important for city kids.
Nature is so nourishing to our physical and mental health: All kids should have the chance to get away from the city and spend some time at camp. Since Covid hit, there has been a huge desire to get outside, and kids especially need this.
Camp has so many great benefits and gives kids experiences that they can’t get in the city. A few activities they can cherish for a lifetime.
Here are some ways why camp is important to kids living in the city:
The connections that kids will build at camp can be lifelong. They will connect with nature in ways they wouldn’t be able to in the city. Connecting with nature can be a powerful stress management tool and can help them unwind in a peaceful environment. Kids need the opportunity to gain this important self-care management tool they’ll need later in life. Social skills are important for a successful life too, and they’ll learn and develop those skills at camp. Camp gives kids a sense of community; they will make friends regardless of background, race, politics and religion and learn to celebrate diversity.
Become more independent
At camp, kids will gain a degree of newfound independence and start to make their own decisions without their parents. It’s important that kids learn to be independent from a young age to ensure they are able to function well as they get older. Camp offers children the chance to practise decision-making and problem-solving skills in a safe and supported environment.
Growing children need a lot of physical activity. It helps kids become physically healthier and it’s vital for strong mental health as well. Exercise helps build the immune system, improves energy levels, and helps strengthen their bones and muscles. The recommended time for kids to be active is 60 minutes a day, and they’ll have much more of that at camp.
Time away from technology
The pandemic has led to an increase in people using screens, and kids are no exception. Technology has become crucial in completing work and school. While we will continue to rely on it because technology is an important part of our lives, kids definitely need a break from it now and then. Tablets, iPads and smartphones are have become a necessity for parents to give to kids, but being in front of screens all day can negatively affect their mental health in the long run. This is why camp is important: going to camp gives them a chance to remember what it’s like to have fun in ways other than looking at screens. At camp, kids will be outside interacting with others. They’ll build friendships, gain problem-solving skills, and create new experiences. While for some kids this might be different and unsettling at first if they’re not used to it, they will start to enjoy it and camp can be the start of a life-long love of nature.
Kids living in rural areas will have a greater chance at connecting with nature, and they might have a greater sense of community since they are in a smaller town. With this, they might also have more physical activity than kids living in the city because there is more free space to run around in. Camp is beneficial to all kids, but especially ones living in big cities, such as Toronto.
Moorelands Camp is a subsidized overnight camp for Toronto kids. Learn more about why camp is important here. If you’re thinking of applying, don’t delay as spots are filling fast!
Apply for Moorelands Camp!
Give your child the opportunity to spend time in nature, build new positive connections and make fun memories that will last a life-time!