How Summer Camp Helps with Social Development

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Summer camp brings new opportunities for kids and teens! Building friendships, becoming more independent and diving into new activities are just a few of the benefits of summer camp. Did you know that summer camp also significantly improves social development? Read on to find out more!

Forming New Friendships at Summer Camp

One of the primary roles of camp counselors is to facilitate friendships. In fact, camp counselors are thoroughly trained on helping summer campers develop their social skills. Through their training programs, camp counselors learn how to lead ice-breakers which encourage campers to initiate a connection with one another. As children learn more about making friends, they bring this home with them and have an easier time making friends at school.

Mechanisms Learned for Social Skills Development

Social Acceptance

Summer campers feel a sense of belonging and value during their summer at camp. Because of this, they feel more confident in their own skin and become leaders. Additionally, kids come back home having a deeper understanding of how to treat others and make them feel included.


It’s true that even some adults can lack empathy but at summer camp, kids unknowingly learn about empathy. Talking with bunk mates, gathering around a campfire, and engaging in team building activities allow kids to share their feelings and understand how others feel. Camp is all about encouraging each other, being supportive, and showing gratitude.

Improved Communication

Unplugging from electronics is possibly one of the best things kids can do. Many summer camps are all about unplugging which means no cell phones, tablets, laptops or electronic devices of any kind. With face-to-face communication, kids are more prone to pick up on facial expressions and emotions. Kids also greatly improve their conversation skills because they aren’t glued to their phones. 

Summer campers are constantly socializing with one another – from the minute they wake to bedtime! Campers are continuously practicing talking to new people, whether it’s with bunkmates, counselors or kids in a new summer camp activity. Meeting a large number of new people helps children to also understand self-disclosure and what questions to ask to get to know others.

Join Us at Catalina Island Camps

At Catalina Island Camps, our overnight camp is located on an island in Southern California near Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach and Los Angeles. Campers come back year after year to enjoy our many activities including snorkeling, paddleboarding, gardening, arts and crafts, and so much more! Our goal is to instill confidence and ensure campers feel completely comfortable being themselves. We love seeing our campers grow as individuals and develop their social skills!