Summer fun, educational activities allow kids to explore opportunities

By Christina Ritter

End of the school year bells are ringing, kids are cheering and screaming and parents are beginning to plan some summer activities for their children.  Summer time is an excellent opportunity for youth to get involved in something fun and educational.  Not only do summer activities keep kids busy and out of trouble, but it allows for youth to explore their world, experience new things, and grow into an informed young adult.  Summer programs/activities can include: sports camps, retreats, educational tours, leadership camps, cooking camps, science engineering and technology camps, horseback riding lessons, tutoring, music lessons, outdoor education camps, early learning camps and much more.  Having an understanding of your goals for the camp experience will allow you to narrow down the type that best fits your child.
Results confirmed camps build skills necessary to prepare campers to assume roles as successful adults.  Parents, campers, and camp staff independently reported growth in areas such as self-confidence, independence, making friends, exploring and learning new activities, and spirituality.  Indeed, camp provides growth experience for youth that can benefit them through adulthood according to the Landmark Research Study which is the largest study of camper outcomes ever conducted in the United States. To read more on the study visit https://www.pointopines.com/about-our-summer-camp/summer-camp-for-kids/
The Texas 4-H Program is one organization that has regularly scheduled camps throughout the summer.  These camps are age geared and focus on outdoor skills, teambuilding and more.  The great thing about these camps is that being a 4-H member is not a requirement to attend.  Visit the Texas 4-H Conference Center website at http://texas4hcenter.tamu.edu/services/youth-camps-and-retreats/ and register before the deadlines close.  If you have any questions about the camps or 4-H, please feel free to contact Christina Ritter 4-H & Youth Development at 409-882-7010.
This summer the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office – Orange County is holding a kids cooking camp June 8-12, 2015 for ages 8-14 years, and a 4-H clover kids camp August 3-5, 2015 for ages 5-8, and a two (2) day sewing camp in August. Being a member of 4-H is not a requirement to attend these camps.
Have a fun and safe summer!!

Christina Ritter, M.S. is County Extension Agent, 4-H and Youth Development at the Orange County Texas A&M AgriLlife Extension Service.

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