“It’s not only cognitive learning, it’s emotional learning,” says Tom Potter, associate professor at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Potter has been involved in outdoor adventure education for more than 30 years. “(Kids) are connecting to (camp) at the emotional level, so it can go pretty deep and they can learn more.”
Camp is the kind of place where children can learn canoeing, archery, life skills such as teamwork, and apply the lessons they learned during the school year in many enjoyable activities. Geocaching lessons offered at some camps, for example, teach kids scientific and math skills.
“They’re getting instant and immediate feedback, so if they do something well, they’ll get feedback; if they’re sailing a sailboat and it’s going in the right direction, they’ll get feedback on that,” Potter says. “But if the boat turns upside down, that’s okay … it’s all part of it.”
The best part about camp? Kids will be too busy having fun, they won’t even notice they’re learning.