Health Benefits of Summer Camp

By Suzanne Koup-Larsen

While it’s not a medical diagnosis, child-advocacy expert Richard Louv coined the term “nature deficit disorder” to describe the wide range of problems that people, especially children, experience when they don’t spend much time outdoors. Additional research suggests that physical activity and exposure to nature contribute to good health. Many camp programmers have this concept in mind as they design camp experiences for kids.

Camp is a great opportunity to shake up the normal summer routine because it breaks the all-too-common cycle of sitting around the house, spending too much time on electronic devices and snacking at will. Not only will kids be making lifelong memories at camp, campers will develop healthy habits for a lifetime as kids increase their physical activity, practice mindful eating and spend more time outdoors.

The American Camp Association reports that 70 percent of summer camps target physical activity in their programming and philosophy. Some camps even have sports as their primary focus. In general, sleep-away camps encourage lots of walking by design. Campers might have to walk from their bunk to another building to brush their teeth and take a shower and then walk across camp to the dining hall to eat. Under these circumstances, campers can’t help but move more throughout the day, which creates another benefit.

While most camps do offer kid favorites like pizza and fries, many camps do make a point to offer healthy alternatives, too. Having healthy options like a variety of fruits and salads may encourage kids to choose healthier foods than they may have chosen at home. Your child may even try something out of the ordinary for them, simply by seeing their peers making healthy choices. Another plus, is that having scheduled meal times will limit random snacking throughout the day.

Even spending time in fresh air has benefits. Of course, remember the sunscreen, bug repellent and stay hydrated!

Suzanne Koup-Larsen is a contributing writer to MetroKids.

More Articles

Sunshine, Angel and Rainbow Babies

By Amber Pryor | Photos: In The Moment Photography by Leila Pregnancy after the loss of a child is a…

Horse Wonder: Exploring the World ​of Horses

By Diane Turner Maller ​There was a time when it was common place for parents to have at least one…

Parenting by the Numbers: Word Problems to Show You’re Not Alone

By Kerrie McLoughlin Sometimes when you’re parenting you just don’t have all the answers. Nothing makes sense and things don’t…

Health Benefits of Summer Camp

By Suzanne Koup-Larsen While it’s not a medical diagnosis, child-advocacy expert Richard Louv coined the term “nature deficit disorder” to…

Growing Pizzas

By Stephen Muff From the Hanging Gardens of Babylon to the Beer Gardens of Deutschland, humans have been trying to…

Strategies to Cure a Picky Eater

By Kerrie McLoughlin Want to know how parents of young kids can kick the chicken nugget, fruit snack and mac…

Making Room for Baby: Helping Your Child Adjust to a New Sibling

By Meagan Ruffing There’s nothing more exciting than finding out that you are expecting; again. Thoughts of tiny toes and…

Get Ready for Rail-Related Family Fun at the Railroad Museum

The California State Railroad Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate located in Old Sacramento State Historic Park, is a family-favorite destination perfect…

​FAQs for Parents Considering Private School Education

By Nora Heston Tarte When it comes to a child’s education, few subjects are more heavily debated. Weighing the benefits…

Health Benefits of Summer Camp

By Suzanne Koup-Larsen

While it’s not a medical diagnosis, child-advocacy expert Richard Louv coined the term “nature deficit disorder” to describe the wide range of problems that people, especially children, experience when they don’t spend much time outdoors. Additional research suggests that physical activity and exposure to nature contribute to good health. Many camp programmers have this concept in mind as they design camp experiences for kids.

Camp is a great opportunity to shake up the normal summer routine because it breaks the all-too-common cycle of sitting around the house, spending too much time on electronic devices and snacking at will. Not only will kids be making lifelong memories at camp, campers will develop healthy habits for a lifetime as kids increase their physical activity, practice mindful eating and spend more time outdoors.

The American Camp Association reports that 70 percent of summer camps target physical activity in their programming and philosophy. Some camps even have sports as their primary focus. In general, sleep-away camps encourage lots of walking by design. Campers might have to walk from their bunk to another building to brush their teeth and take a shower and then walk across camp to the dining hall to eat. Under these circumstances, campers can’t help but move more throughout the day, which creates another benefit.

While most camps do offer kid favorites like pizza and fries, many camps do make a point to offer healthy alternatives, too. Having healthy options like a variety of fruits and salads may encourage kids to choose healthier foods than they may have chosen at home. Your child may even try something out of the ordinary for them, simply by seeing their peers making healthy choices. Another plus, is that having scheduled meal times will limit random snacking throughout the day.

Even spending time in fresh air has benefits. Of course, remember the sunscreen, bug repellent and stay hydrated!

Suzanne Koup-Larsen is a contributing writer to MetroKids.

More Articles

Children with Autism May Benefit from Soluble Fiber

“Dr. Bill” Sears, M.D. comments on study that finds soluble…

Top 8 Water Safety Tips From Steve Wallen Swim School

By Kaleb Wallen, Steve Wallen Swim School 1. Enroll In…

Fitting In as a Woman of Color

By Sumiti Mehta I am a brown-skinned woman born and…

Are You Tribeless?

By Anna Osborn, LMFT One of the favorite parts of…

Non-Pool Toys that are Perfect for the Pool

By Karissa Tunis Our family loves hanging out at the…

20 Things to do with Kids Under $5 in the Sacramento Region

By Michelle Kopkash You don’t need a lot of money…

A Museum Without Walls…Memorable Experiences Await Inside & Outside the Railroad Museum

A Smithsonian Affiliate located in Old Sacramento State Historic Park,…

JugHead!

By Donna Sangwin, Founder and Executive Director of ReCreate This…

Is Your Car Seat Keeping Your Child Safe?

By Rob Baquera, Public Information Officer, Roseville Police Department With…

Follow Sacramento Parent