Summer – the perfect time for kids to get outside, explore exciting places and have new adventures. Whether your child wants to do that exploring and adventuring in the woods or on the water, learning to be a better leader or a better conservationist, rolling down mountain bike trails or splashing through a creek bed, Leadership Academy’s 6 local summer day camps have something for every interest. At Leadership Academy, we believe that time spent outdoors focused on imaginative play helps children grow in confidence, creativity, social intelligence, and grit. While we could name dozens and dozens of things that make our camps so fantastic (get in touch and we can give you the complete list!), we’ve shown some restraint here and would like to offer just three of the things that we absolutely love.
The benefits of summer camp extend beyond the summer.
The wonderful thing about Leadership Academy camps is that they’re more than just a place to spend summer days. Being at camp is an experience that becomes a part of who each child is – it’s learning and growing, having the strength and courage to stretch and be flexible and explore the world:
- When your son plays field games at camp, he isn’t only building his athletic prowess – he’s learning to be a good sport and a team player.
- When your daughter tries brand new activities like archery or sailing, she not only learns to take a step out of her comfort zone but also builds up her reserves of confidence and resolve, so that when she once again finds herself in a new and overwhelming situation, she’ll remember that she’s brave enough to take that first step.
- When your son spends an entire afternoon in the creek, looking for salamanders and noticing the different rocks and leaves and wildflowers all around, he strengthens a connection to nature that will stay with him all his life and inspire in him a love for the outdoors and a commitment to preserving and protecting the environment.
Leadership Academy camps help kids develop important skills that are vital to a successful future.
One of the key tenets of our six summer camps is encouraging autonomous play – letting campers (together as a group, with the oversight of a supportive counselor) decide what they want to do and how, where and when they want to do it. This kind of imaginative, collaborative play offers so many benefits:
- Kids develop self regulation – they identify and manage their own thoughts, feelings and behaviors.
- Kids cultivate self efficacy – they strengthen their internal belief that they can be successful at the tasks at hand.
- Kids create a positive self image and the determination to keep trying in spite of setbacks.
- Kids develop peer communication skills – they learn to express themselves and give voice to their needs and desires while negotiating compromise.
- Kids strengthen their physical and mental health – through unstructured time in nature, they gain a powerful tool to cope with future stresses as they learn how to engage in positive, purposeful activities that make them feel great.
These soft skills are keys to success in life and help our children grow into healthy, happy adults.
Our camps benefit from and contribute to our amazing local parks.
We love the fact that our camps take place in some of Nashville’s most beautiful parks, and we are grateful to be in partnership with them. As a way of showing our gratitude and love for the fabulous parks that host our camps, we donate funds from every registration as well as give from our revenue to contribute to the care and keeping of these landmarks. We also firmly believe that as children spend unstructured, unrushed time in nature they will fall in love with the outdoors. This, in turn, sparks within them a passion for care of the environment and a desire to return to the parks that have become so important to them – and they often bring their parents and friends along with them. What results is an exponential growth of new park visitors, bringing more revenue to the parks and allowing for park growth and enhanced local outreach. In a beautiful cycle, the more the parks grow, the more people will get outside and visit, fall in love, and want to return.
If this sounds like something you’d like your family to be a part of, please get in touch and begin the process of exploring and adventuring with Leadership Academy this summer.