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An American Tradition - CAMP

Millions of Children Nationwide Become Part of History

by Vaun Thygerson
Staff writer and mother of three

Just like apple pie and baseball, attending summer camp has become an American tradition for many children, including those here in Bakersfield. For 150 years, millions of children have learned life lessons and made lasting memories in a positive, supportive camp environment. This year, over 10 million children and youth will attend camp nationwide.

Today, camps are the natural extension of traditional education settings. Camp is comprised almost entirely of teachable moments — developing life skills such as independence, leadership, a sense of community, teamwork, self-esteem, and many more. The experiential, hands-on approach at camp allows all children to be successful. Early camp pioneers were largely educators who saw the need to keep children engaged and learning throughout the summer months, but understood the need for educational opportunities outside of the classroom.

In a 1928 Red Book Magazine editorial, George Johnson, associate professor for the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University said, “The summer camp restores to children much of the naturalness of living that the modern community, in so many ways, tends to take away.”

For more information about the American tradition of camp, or to use American Camping Association’s (ACA) Find a Camp database to find the perfect camp experience for your child, visit In addition, families can follow ACA on Facebook and Twitter for helpful hints and camp information.

Here’s what Bakersfield campers have to say about their summer camp experience:

Walker Watson, age 6, says, “I like going to summer camps so that I can learn and explore new things. So far my favorite camp was bible camp because we found a toad in the bathroom sink. I can’t wait to be old enough to go to boy scouts camp and learn about more things like mountains and animals.”

Charlie Waite, age 6, with friend, Zayne Jarrar, likes camp so he can be with friends and play outside.

Brielle Waite, age 10, says her number one reason for going to camp is, “To make new friends.”

Jack Waite, age 10, likes a camp where he can learn new thingsand be creative.

Dallin Christensen Age 13 “I like to go to Scout Camp in the summer because I love to camp and all the counselors are unique and really fun to be around.”

Caleb Bailey, age 6, says, “Baseball is so fun, I like to hit the ball!!”

Abigail Walker, age 8, says, “I like summer camps because it helps me learn and gives me something to do during the summer. My favorite camp so far has been acting camp.I liked learning to sing, dance and perform on stage for people. I would like to go toa dance camp in L.A.”

Breanna Bailey, age 8 says, “I love riding my horse Molly and learning new techniques with her. Team penning and Sorting are so fun!!”

“We like to chose at least one kids camp each summer so that we can give Mom a break! We want to try swimming camps this year for the big kids and a fun sports camp for the younger kids. It just helps beat summertime boredom and makes everyone feel excited about the day!” says Amy Eyre mother of four. Blake, age 2, Megan, age 4, Spencer, age 9, and Alyssa, age 6.

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Tags: Camp, Education, Featured Story, Travel, Tweens & Teens

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