by Lisa van de Ven
Continuing to develop their own personalities, kids at this age are emerging as social beings, and testing their independence. They’re curious about the world, asking lots of questions, and are making stronger ties with friends as they become more aware of other people’s feelings.
• Being separated from parents
• Whether or not they’ll make new friends
• If they’ll even enjoy this new experience
What Camp Offers
"They’re really starting to feel like they’re a part of something a little bigger," says Centre Camp assistant director Kevin Knopman on what kids in this age group are getting out of the camp experience. Camp is a way to build on the independence they’re learning in the classroom, while allowing them to mix with older children and have fun learning new skills along the way.
Discovering new opportunities
Ask five-year-old Gideon what he liked best about camp last summer, and he’ll offer up a list of all of the activities he got to participate in at Centre Camp in Toronto. Simply put: it’s hard for him to choose just one thing.
"We swim, and we do mini-golf and we do lots of stuff," he says. But when pressed a little further to name his very favourite thing, he finally answers "arts and crafts."
Of course, Gideon—who's been attending camp since he was three—was also happy with all of the friends he made. His parents, Dov Soberman and Riki Pinhas, say that his social skills have improved. "He’s learned how to deal with other children in an environment outside of school," Pinhas says. "Socially, he’s really matured . . . and I think he learns new things."
She also likes the fact that Gideon’s been able to explore the outdoors and get exposed to activities he might not be able to usually experience in their Toronto neighbourhood.
"At the end of the summer he turns around and says, ‘You know mommy, I want to continue doing dance, or I want to do this,'" Pinhas says. "It gives him exposure to
all of that."