Health & Medical Adolescent Health

US Kids 5 Favorite Summer Camp Activities - Different From Our Generation?

Are kids really so different these days? We figured at our office that all the PlayStation Portables, cell phones, Facebook, and Twitter have really changed kids.
Therefore, they ought to have different preferences for summer camp activities, right? Wrong, it turns out! I polled the 10 or so adults who work in our office in New Jersey what their favorite camp activities were in the 1970s and '80s, and then contrasted those with the preferences of kids who have just attended camps in the Adirondack Mountain, New York area.
Shockingly, the results turned out to be almost identical! So I suppose kids aren't really that different these days after all.
Here are the 21st century kids' favorite activities vs.
ours.
#1: Archery.
Yes, the idea of an under-13 child firing a salvo of arrows out in the fields where other kids run and play may conjure up memories of "Lord of the Flies.
" However, with the adult supervision and training that counselors get in child management, archery is a perfectly safe summer camp activity.
And kids love it.
It makes them feel like nobles back in medieval England.
Or Ted Nugent.
We had said canoeing was our favorite, which ended up as the next one on their list.
Archery was our #3 choice.
I guess we might have been a bit more violent back in our day, what with all the Motley Crue and Twisted Sister.
#2: Canoeing.
Summer is hot.
The ideal place to be is on the river.
Canoeing not only provides an opportunity to burn off some steam for kids, but also presents an opportunity to work cooperatively.
It's a wonderful team-building exercise.
Ours was swimming, which didn't actually end up on the kids' list.
But we figure swimming is just the burlier, more rugged version of canoeing.
Score 1 macho point for kids from the '70s and '80s.
#3: Crafts.
Kids feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment when they craft something themselves.
Unfortunately, there is not a shred of hope that any summer camp is going to let a kid born in the 21st century to work witj power tools.
But there are plenty of solutions for that.
How many lanyards will campers make? Macaroni art masterpieces? These still top kids' lists of things to do at summer camp because then they get to bring something home for mom and dad.
Here we put archery, and crafts actually came up second on our list.
I still have my little wooden duck on a stick that walks when you push it.
A classic.
#4: Camp "Olympics" where each cabin dons the same color in a fight to the death against the rest of the camp.
These relay races, canoeing, and scavenger hunts can foster lasting memories for kids, and not just because little Boris gets heatstroke and tosses his cookies on David, the most popular male counselor.
It's all about teamwork, and kids thrive on that.
Again, crafts was second on our list.
The "Olympics" didn't come up, though we did have one at our camp and I loved it.
It would definitely be in my personal top 10.
#5: Horseback riding.
Both the kids and adults agreed on this one.
The odd thing when it comes to this one taking 1st place is that, only a couple of people in our office actually got a chance to actually get on a horse, and those of us who did were not exactly riding Black Beauty--we're talking ponies here.
Either the horses were always eating or sleeping or, to be quite honest, we just didn't have the courage to ride.
The kids we asked all said, "Yeah! I rode a horse" if their camp had one, but we're still waiting for official evidence before we'll take their word for it.
In conclusion, we have decided that kids are really not much different from how we were.
It's nice to know that our modern society with all its technology isn't turning out soulless robots wrapped up in their own little worlds, as some might lead you to believe.
But let them try and say that to our faces--especially when we're riding our horses and wielding our bows and arrows.


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