Summer camps all about fun & independence for kids

Published: Jul. 21, 2016 at 8:57 PM EDT
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Every year more than 14-million kids and adults pack their bags and head to a summer camp, bringing in more than $18-billion.

But what is it about camp that makes it appealing to so many?

Swimming, archery, and singing camp songs are just some of the activities that come to mind when you think about summer camps.

Kate Metts, Camp Don Lee Director in Pamlico County, says, "Summer camp provides children the opportunity to be away from their parents for a period of time and when they're away from their homes they definitely grow in independence and self-confidence, they get to try new things they get to make new friends, and they get to spend a lot of time outside, which a lot of kids these days do not have that opportunity to be outside for long periods of time."

First time camper Zach Bowles says, "It is super fun. The food is really great, and there are a lot of really fun activities."

Returning camper Grant Smith says, "I like sailing and swimming the best because the Neuse River is a great place to sail and the swimming is cool too."

All of these camp experiences may sound great but most come at a cost. Camps vary depending on how many activities your child will have access to.

Camps here in eastern Carolina range anywhere from $300.00 for younger kids in a half a week camp, all the way up to $4,200 for longer camp sessions.

Metts says, "Well they get three meals a day, they get to do a lot of activities and I think parents, you know, I would love to have them at my camp but I think parents need to shop for the camp that best suits their family because there is a wide range of experiences and expenses and locations."

And there are many camps that offer financial assistance or scholarships to help cover some of those costs.

And while finding the right camp for your family may take some research, campers that have packed their bags and been dropped off at camp say it's an experience they'll never forget.

The American Camp Association says there are more than 8,400 overnight camps and 5,600 day camps in the United States.