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Camps encourage and inspire their campers to learn new skills and to explore new interests.

Aly Raisman CampWe are inspired by this camp yearbook clip of Aly Raisman who was encouraged at summer camp to think about the future and to dream big, and by this segment on Aly’s first-ever gymnastics meet, which happened at summer camp.

Camps also help build skills and deepen interests campers already have. Being at summer camp provides children with opportunities to invent and re-invent themselves, to take safe physical and emotional risks, and to grow into their own potential.

HOW?

  • By creating an intentional community and a sense of belonging.
  • By surrounding campers with counselors who are role models and excellent teachers.
  • By encouraging campers to bust out of their comfort zones—to have confidence in themselves as they try (or try again) something that is new or difficult—sometimes both.
  • By offering experiences, adventures, and opportunities not available elsewhere.
  • By helping each camper grow as a contributing member of the group.
  • By taking children seriously and taking their dreams seriously, too.

Aly Raisman BeamA message to Aly from New England’s summer camp world: Congratulations! People all over the world are full of pride—but that’s an understatement here in New England!  Countless campers are inspired by what happened in London during these Olympic games and by what you’ve achieved personally. New England cannot wait to welcome you home this week!

ACA New England sends a big shout out to the thousands and thousands of counselors and camp staff who have encouraged their campers to dream big at camp this summer.  As the summer camp season of 2012 winds to a close and children prepare to transition back to the classroom, we acknowledge the uniquely major role that summer camp plays in children’s lives. Summer camp experiences complement and reinforce learning that happens at school and at home. Camps are partners in a most complex and amazing process—helping children to grow up. Summer camp experiences not only encourage dreaming big, camp is the perfect place to pursue those dreams!

(Top photo: Buzzfeed.com, Bottom photo: Michael Regan/Getty Images Europe)