When it comes to summer camp the whole idea is to have more than just fun. Pauls Valley’s seventh annual school camp, set to begin Monday, will have 185 students participating — it’s largest enrollment in the program’s history.

While it is intended to be every bit an enjoyable experience, administrative assistant Linda Stark said the camp offers much more than an entertaining way for local kids to wile away the lazy days of summer.

“Of course it’s supposed to be fun, but one of the main reasons we have summer camp is to help kids retain the reading and math skills they’ve learned throughout the previous school year,” Stark explained.

“Without some form of revue, kids will only retain so much and this helps them remember more,” she said.

“Another reason we have summer camp is to provide kids with an opportunity to broaden their understanding of the world around them and one of the ways we’ll do that this year is to take them on a field trip to the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History in Norman.”

Along with the educational benefits, Stark said summer camp also offers participating children a chance to thrive in pleasant and secure surroundings while also improving their physical and emotional well being.

“Another one of our primary purposes for holding summer camp is to offer a safe and positive environment where parents can bring their kids. A lot of parents have to work through the day and we want them to know their kids will be taken care of while they’re with us,” she noted.

“We also want to offer kids a place where they can stay physically fit and have some socialization during the summer. Instead of sitting around the TV all day or playing computer games for hours, they can get exercise and spend time in the sunshine with their peers.

“And this year they’ll be doing something new called ‘brain games,’ which will help them improve their ability to get along with others by teaching them how to play fair, and win and lose gracefully.”

The real test of any youth program is how positive it is for kids and parents alike, and Stark said what she has seen and heard over the years has convinced her of the camp’s effectiveness.

“We believe it’s been a real success. We have parents and grandparents tell us all the time how much they appreciate the program and they say they can see a definite improvement in their kids,” Stark said.

“It’s not just the adults though. We’ve noticed a lot of times the parents come to get their kids at the end of the day and the children want to stay longer because they enjoy it so much.”

This Week's Circulars

Recommended for you