Sending your kid to an overseas summer camp is a great way to break up the long, hot Cayman summer and a fantastic chance to expose them to a new country, new children from all over the world and a host of new activities.
According to the Canadian Summer Camp Research Project, a nationwide study on the effects of camp on kids, summer camp cultivates emotional intelligence, self-confidence, independence, leadership and many other skills and interests that last long into adulthood.
On a small island like ours, this sort of exposure and key aspects of development can be sparse, and thus enrolling your kid in an international camp can give them opportunities they may be missing out on.
When you have had a good look at this page please also check out our Sports & Fitness Summer Camps page where we list sporty camps, our Mixed Activities Summer Camps page where we list a number of fun mixed activities camps and our Cultural & Educational Summer Camps page where we list camps that will educate your little ones with some Cayman culture. The options are even greater this year with new camps coming to the scene. There should be something for everyone.
Benefits of Overseas Summer Camps
Many parents continue to send their children off to summer camps year after year after observing how much development, as well as fun, their kids experience at camp. While it is easy for them to see the benefits of camp, for those parents considering it for the first time we have listed our top reasons why these camps are so worthwhile.
Unique Socialising Opportunity
Camp provides a crash course on meeting new people where kids can build social skills, learn to navigate through group dynamics, develop vital communication skills and emotionally support a friend in need. Overseas summer camps offer a ‘blank slate’ socialising opportunity – children interact with an entirely new group of people, separate from their established identity on-Island, and free of prior expectations. While the structure of camp, with a regular routine and constant group activities, provides many opportunities to form friendships and interact with like-minded peers over mutual interests. Given that camp is such a catalyst for social experimentation, unsurprisingly many campers form life-long friendships and networks.
Expanding their World-View
At international camps, such as the ones mentioned below, children will form friendships with campers from all over the world – every race, culture, and socioeconomic level. Often children will return year after year simply to reunite with their international friends. Such interactions help kids broaden their world-view and encourage open-mindedness and an interest in other cultures. They will be exposed to different viewpoints, learn to accept not everyone has the same perspectives or opinions they do, and realise that for teamwork to be effective they must respect and work with differences. In our time, this sort of tolerance and respect for other people’s views, ideology and beliefs, is increasingly necessary.
Cultivating New and Existing Interests
During the school term it can be difficult for kids to really commit to their extracurricular interests with the constant pressure of homework, family time and socialising, whereas the freedom of a long summer away enables them to really focus on developing other interests. Camp provides unique activities your child can try for the first time, from go-karting to radio presenting, while also allowing them time to hone their skills in activities they’ve enjoyed before, like ball sports or arts and crafts. Allowing children to explore their established interests in greater depth and pushing them out of their comfort zone to try new activities, will foster a stronger sense of identity in them and a better idea of what they enjoy. This will bring both immediate and longer term benefits, as they can cultivate these skills further once they return home and they may even contribute to helping them choose a career path in later life.
Keeping Young Brains and Bodies Active
Over the summer parents often witness a physical and mental decline in their child’s wellbeing due to the absence of a regular routine. Research proves that kids typically lose significant maths, reading comprehension and spelling skills over this period. Camp provides a fun way for children to sustain mental stimulation and physical activity over the break. Physical activity is well-disguised in the form of fun and games, encouraging kids to adopt a healthy lifestyle often without even realising it! At the same time, the creative activities offered at camp like photography or arts and crafts and mentally-trying sports like rock climbing or sailing, keep kids constantly alert and mentally stimulated.
In our modern technological world it is almost inevitable that every child will have an iPod, phone, laptop, or be connected to the internet in some capacity. It can often be difficult to encourage children to disconnect and to look for fun beyond their screens, and unrealistic for parents to keep up strict limitations on screen time. But at camp, children are only allowed limited access to their mobiles and other devices, so they can be fully engaged in activities and truly switch off from electronics. Teaching kids how to have fun and engage with their peers away from technology helps them to realise that there is a world beyond video games and social media. And this new-found realisation will return home with them and make kids more inclined to be active, continue their new hobbies and turn off their screens.
Overseas Summer Camp Options
Take advantage of the many benefits of an overseas summer camp and have a look at our recommendations below. These international camps are already popular with Cayman parents. From Canada to New York, these camps offer a host of unique activities your child can get involved in.
This list is constantly being updated so be sure to check back so you don’t miss out!
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Camp Echo, Upstate New York
Tel:1 (845) 733 4567
Camp Echo is on a private lake and has 200+ acres of fields and wooded trails. The beautiful natural surroundings provide the perfect setting for outdoor activities and making new best friends, all just a convenient and comfortable distance from the greater New York City. Camp Echo is run by hands-on directors Jeff and Cindy Grabow.
Glen Bernard Camp, Canada
Tel:1 (416) 225 4166
Glen Bernard Camp just north of Huntsville in Ontario, is an all-girls summer camp located on 700 acres of forest with a kilometre of safe shoreline along Lake Bernard. Established in 1922, it has an established reputation of helping girls develop self-confidence and independence. Their slogan is “Live Lightly”. They demonstrate a significant commitment to environmental sustainability and they rely on solar energy, composting toilets and energy efficient lighting.
Camp Wanapitei, Canada
Tel:1 (888) 637 5557
Located on 42 acres of forest on the north shore of Lake Temagami, Camp Wanapitei has a two-kilometre stretch of white, sandy beach. Campers can have their first taste of river canoeing on the Red Squirrel River which flows through the middle of camp. The picturesque Red Squirrel Falls are only a short hike away and the camp is an easy departure point for many beautiful hiking trails. A Wanapitei experience promotes self-reliance and personal growth, through challenging canoe trips in Canada’s north.
Not seeing a camp listed? Contact us and we will add it at no charge!