Why Add Internet Activities to Your Program?
Some things never seem to change. There's something timeless about kids and summer camp. There's the hot sun and cool water, the green trees and blue skies, the outdoor games and public showers, the rustic cabins and raucous dining halls. Most of all, there are the grinning faces of friends gathered around the table, the pool, and the campfire.
But summer camps these days are changing. Added to the chirps of crickets, splashes of water, clangs of dinner bells, and songs, shouts and peals of laughter are the clicks of computer keys and the hum of hard drives. Summer camps are going electronic to give kids experience with new tools for learning and fun, including challenging campers to learn to use the Internet.
Computers and network technologies are indispensable tools in virtually all aspects of contemporary life. The Internet network provides a rich environment for electronic communication and information access. People can communicate with others world-wide without the constraints of time or distance. Networking services create new options for convenient access to a wide range of entertainment and educational resources. For these reasons interest in computing and the Internet is growing rapidly. But why would a typical camp for children and youth want to add Internet activities to its program offerings?
- First, learning to use the Internet is fun and fits in with the exploratory nature of camps.
- Second, Internet work can facilitate social interactions, peer support, and program participation year-round for those campers who gain Internet access in their homes or schools.
- Third, Internet activities can support academic growth as campers use technology, practice reading and writing, and access information.
In short, in this era of concern over low academic achievements of American youth, summer camping programs can be part of the solution while providing a new, exciting experience for their campers.