Want to give your kids a global perspective? Consider summer camp

Published 7:00 pm Sunday, March 25, 2012

Our world has never been more connected. We can travel to almost any country within a day. News from a faraway location arrives on our screens within minutes of it happening. People from all over the world connect 24/7 through social networks. This shrinking world is awe-inspiring, but it comes with responsibilities for parents.

It’s important to give your child a global perspective. With an international mindset, children will grow to love the world they live in and appreciate people from all walks of life. You might think that the best way to give your child international experience is to spend lots of money and time traveling overseas, but there are other options. Summer camp, for example, is a great way for kids to meet others from around the world and learn about various cultures.

“It is rare if a camp today does not have at least a few, if not many, children or adults in the camp population from other cultures – international campers, international staff, or recent immigrants, says Linda Pulliam, a board member of International Camping Fellowship. “It is not necessary to have structured or facilitated activities to teach global citizenship because cultural learning is intrinsic in the camp setting, particularly in resident camps where campers and staff are living and interacting constantly,”

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Take Camp Lincoln for Boys and Camp Lake Hubert for Girls in Lake Hubert, Minn. Last year, campers and staff represented 42 different states and 14 different countries at this privately owned, family-based camp. The diversity of campers provides for a unique bonding experience where friendships are built that can last a lifetime.

“I keep in touch with everyone from camp on a daily basis and I still consider them my best friends, even though I only see them during the summer for four weeks,” says Robbie Faryniarz of Connecticut, a camper at Camp Lincoln summer camp for boys. “Last year, I had seven different nationalities represented by the campers and staff in my cabin and this diversity added to my overall camp experience. Our cabin was so close and we knew each other so well that we did not feel like we were together for a month, but for our whole lives. I cannot wait to return in 2012.”

Your child can get this same experience if you decide to sign him or her up for the right summer camp. No matter what your child’s age or length of time you’re looking for, there’s a camp that’s right for your family. Visit www.acacamps.org to learn about summer camps for girls, boys or co-ed options.

Business and the way our world communicates will continue to grow on a global scale. Being able to work side-by-side with others of varying backgrounds is important. Having children learn and experience other cultures helps bring our world even closer and prepares them for a future where an international mindset is sure to be an asset. Consider summer camps today for a fun way for kids to learn more about the world we live in.