As we look forward to the end of this snowy winter, everyone begins to talk about the summer! Sunshine, longer days, and afternoons on the beach are the focus of our summer goals, but for me summer means one thing: SUMMER CAMP!
I’ve always loved summer camp. As a teacher, it’s the best time of the year. I get to interact and teach students in a relaxed and fun environment that focuses less on the goals and political agenda of the state and really incorporates what the students need most.
Physically activity! Students get to move, shake, and stretch their bodies and minds during summer camp. Staff and parents agree that spending a half or full day at camp makes everyone tired. Moving to music and playing physical games isn’t something that students always do by themselves. It’s a great opportunity for everyone to be physical in a different way.
Unplug! By attending summer camp, students spend less time on the computer, in front of the TV, and on their phones. When everyone is bombarded with so much media on a daily basis, it’s fantastic going back to basics and go to camp! Students are dance and music superstars, emerging artists, and game time heroes. It’s a great reprieve from the rest of the year.
Experiences in the arts! Need I say more? African drumming, magical music, outrageous art, creative cooking, silly yoga, dramatic dance, and interactive games fill our mornings and afternoons! Students get to emerge themselves in a creative environment free of judgment and pressure.
Socialization! Every TAPA student is paired with a one-on-one volunteer. These volunteers help to model behavior but also act as a friend. From morning greetings at the gate, to big hugs on the last day of camp, these volunteers form a bond with their buddies that help both to grow and develop socially. It’s amazing to see the friendships that have grown from TAPA’s Summer Camp.
Family respite! Miss Susan always says that a “Well rested parent is an effective parent”. Summer camp helps parents and siblings to get the respite they need.
Try new things! How often do students go on a fairy hunt or make a postcard they can eat? Everyday if they are attending camp. The summer is a fantastic opportunity for students to take risks and enjoy new challenges. That means immersing themselves in recreation and arts activities. No two days at camp are alike, so even our veteran campers are in for three more weeks of brand new lessons and activities.
Keep the pattern and rhythm of school! Getting back into the school day rhythm isn’t easy for anyone. But it’s significantly easier for students when they keep the consistency of morning routines and daily activities. Students are able to maintain focus and behavioral goals when attending summer camp with the help of our state-certified teachers and professional staff.