Like recreation in general, camp activities continue to evolve. While favorites like swimming, hiking, and fireside songs will never go out of style, today’s camps offer much more than an outdoor lifestyle. Your facility can keep up with the trends by finding new ways to challenge and educate your guests. And it’s not too late to include some of these ideas in your 2016 season.
Adventure activities bring on challenges.
Today, summer camp is more than just a two-week break for Mom and Dad. It’s an opportunity for kids to grow and test themselves in new ways. Many places now offer more daring activities like rope courses and zip lines that help boys and girls develop courage and self-reliance. These activities introduce kids to the advantages of taking healthy risks, which teach them about the limits they’re able to push themselves to. Larger camps are boasting BMX courses, Frisbee golf, bungee trampolines, and rifle ranges.
But you don’t need a huge space or a big budget for exhilarating adventures. If you have a pool, add an aquatic climbing wall like the AquaClimb. Kids enjoy physical and mental challenges, and climbing is the best way to engage both. You can easily add it before the 2016 season, and it’s proven a fan favorite with all ages.
Arts & Crafts moves into a new millennium.
Today’s arts programs are pushing creative limits. Rather than working on a defined, linear project, kids follow their interests into areas such as photography, video production, and editing. Other non traditional activities for youngsters can include building model rockets and water gun painting.
Music and theater has also gained popularity. Facilities are offering guitar classes, and provide campers with the opportunity to put on musicals or dance productions.
In accordance with providing education about the environment, many programs stress recycling. They’re working with local businesses to re-use scraps of wood, paper, or other items that can be combined with natural elements for mixed media sculptures, picture frames, and other arts and crafts projects. It’s a great chance to get creative!
Fitness offers more.
Fitness programs are no longer limited to softball and hiking. While campers still love team sports, more facilities are providing dance, yoga, and weightlifting, too. For this season, consider finding a local instructor who can lead classes. The local parks & rec department typically has a wide variety of local instructors who teach everything from karate to meditation.
Fireside evenings get a makeover.
Not every activity needs to be educational. There are innovative ways to spend down time during evenings that you can easily blend into your current schedule. Have an air band contest or run a fun quiz show around the fire. There’s no better way to cap off a day than with music and laughs.
Even mealtime contributes to the experience.
With today’s focus on environmental issues, many facilities are turning meals into a farm-to-table adventure. They keep gardens on location where kids help cultivate the plants and pick the produce they will later eat. Or they take field trips to local you-pick farms. Knowing where their food comes from encourages kids to eat healthy.
If you don’t have a farm to visit, you can still look for local produce, eggs, or milk and bring in a summer chef to create interesting recipes with seasonal items. Chefs can run cooking classes and discuss the relationships between the foods we eat, the community, and the environment.
Kids plan their own programs.
As camps offer more and more choices, they’re finding that youngsters get the most out of their experiences when they have some control over their schedules. Many have set up simple websites that let guests select activities they want to do each day. They may try photography one day and a ropes course the next, but by managing their options, they can explore activities they might never have thought of trying.
You can take steps today for an outstanding 2016 season.
Camps are innovating on every level these days, and you can take advantage of these trends right now. If you’d like to add the excitement and challenge of a climbing wall to your swimming facility, contact us at AquaClimb. We can help make this your best season ever.