Parents always want to ensure their children enjoy their summer camp activities. A camp’s activities play a large part in laying a strong foundation for a positive camper summer. How a summer camp approaches their activities and program play a large part in what any camper experiences. Circle F Dude Ranch, like many summer camps ensure their activities are more than just fun. Sleepaway camps pride themselves on the personal growth benefits of their summer activities and program. These camps design activities that are fun, but also teach life lessons such as personal confidence and perseverance. Most parents want their camper to not only have fun but grow in a positive direction. When choosing the right program and activities for a camper is not difficult if you consider the following.

What structure for attending activities is used?

Consider the summer activity style of the camp. Is the camp skilled-focused, free-choice or a mixture of both styles? There are advantages and disadvantages to each style. Skill focus activity styles allow campers to become stronger in select activities. Such as going to tennis every day of the camp session. Free-choice schedules allow campers to move from activity to activity, providing them the chance to experience multiple activities in the session. Such as rock wall on one day and arts and crafts the next day. The individual activity growth in a free choice style will not be as strong, but the broadening of their horizons will increase. At Circle F, we like a mix of both programs, offering for skill choices in the morning and free choice in the afternoon.

What activities are best for my camper?

Before camp starts, explore the summer activities alongside your child. Consider their interest and talk to them about which activities they may want to learn or gain more knowledge in. Consider choosing a camp that focuses on your child’s interests. Ask the camp how the campers will learn and build their self-confidence. Camps like Circle F Dude Ranch focus on both the fun aspects of a camp activity, as well as the deeper learning opportunities. Looking at an activity can help one understand the value it teaches. For example, sports activities often teach sportsmanship, following rules, self-discipline, and teamwork. Adventure programs like climbing and extreme sports help campers face fears, build self-confidence, and push boundaries. Horseback riding programs teach responsibility, care for others, and communication. A great camp like Circle F, will ensure to not just teach the activity, but that deeper values are reinforced.

How are the activities taught and by whom?

Is your child going to receive first-hand instruction from counselors? What training did these counselors receive? A camp counselor working in an activity is responsible for creating a fun, safe, and comfortable learning environment. These environments allow a camper to have fun and build confidence. This confidence leads to trust with staff and allows for real growth. Ensure counselors have the training to teach at different age levels. How do they implement focus on your child’s fine and gross motor skills in activities? What are the camp’s abilities to professionally and safely push a camper beyond his or her comfort zones? Understanding principles of “challenge by choice” and having the patience to work with concerns or fears campers is key. Circle F’s climbing department provides a great example of this training. Staff work one-on-one with campers to set realistic goals and help them obtain them. Success and growth can happen in many ways. At Circle F Dude Ranch Camp we divide an array of activities into six departments. Our departments include: Extreme Sports, Climbing, General Sports, Water Sports, Arts, and Horseback Riding. In each department, your child is able to choose a skilled activity taught by counselors with experience and training. Incorporated through all of our activities are our camp pillars (R.I.P.P.L.E.) of respect, inspiration, play, positive thinking, leadership, and engagement. Whichever department your child may find interest in, there is always an opportunity for learning, growth, and independence to what we call the bridge to enhancing their self-confidence.  

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