Have you thought about sending your child to camp?

Youth of all ages can benefit from attending day or overnight camps and young people have the opportunity to participate in summer camps in any number of specialties: sports, conservation, livestock and a whole lot more.

Winter may be upon us but now is the time to consider sending your child to a camp next summer. Camping experiences are great for youth of all ages – have you thought about sending your child to camp?

There are many fulfilling camp experiences that can meet both your time commitment and child’s interests. Day camps, held for just the day (typically five to six hours), usually include a lunchtime meal. These types of camps are great for youth under the age of 10 as they provide the opportunity to learn about a variety of topics in a short period. As youth get older, they may want the overnight experience as that type of camp offers a variety of different learning opportunities.

One type of camp that is very popular in Michigan is sports camps. This weeklong camp experience focuses on a specific sport, such as tennis, golf, basketball or volleyball. Both overnight and day camp settings are available for youth interested in sports camps.

For youth interested in a camp setting where they can experience the outdoors and nature, Michigan 4-H Youth Development has programs in many different counties. At 4-H camps, youth learn by doing and develop life skills through specific learning projects. These camps are usually three to four days long and may offer programs such as craft making, nature education, hiking, water sports, shooting sports, line dancing and a whole lot more. This type of camp is a great introduction for youth who want to get involved in the 4-H program for the following year.

To find out if your county has a 4-H camp offered this summer, contact your county Michigan State University Extension office. If your county is interested in hosting a county summer camp, consider a two or three day 4-H livestock or horse camp or clinic, which can easily be hosted at local fairgrounds. This experience would culture a great partnership between your local fair board and 4-H clubs by working together.

Another popular camp setting for 4-H’ers is the Kettunen Center. This 4-H leader training facility is located near Tustin, Michigan and is owned and operated by the Michigan 4-H Foundation. Throughout the year, the camp offers many 4-H workshops to youth and adults, giving them a chance to experience a learning opportunity in an outdoor setting. In addition to the structured camp time, free time at the Kettunen Center can include hiking, boating and swimming in the summer and cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter. To experience a camp or workshop at the Kettunen Center, check out upcoming activities such as the 4-H Veterinary Science workshop, the 4-H Beef, Sheep and Swine workshop and the Shooting Sports workshop.

No matter what kind of camping adventure they experience, day or overnight setting, camps allow youth to learn skills such as decision-making, independence, citizenship, character building and a whole lot more. Consider enrolling your child in a summer camp for an experience that will benefit them the rest of their life.

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