The power of play! Adolescent and family therapist Bob Ditter at American Camp Association's 2011 Tristate Conference shared this startling fact "in less than two decades, the radius of outdoor play has shrunk from 1 mile (5280 feet) to 550 feet." In the U.S. we've seen the growing trend in this as schools have been pushed to eliminate recess for academic progress.
Dr. David Elkind, author of the book The Power of Play, argues that "Play is being silenced." Ditter illustrated that what camp can give to kids today is the opportunity to be creative and to play without limitations- "Free Play!"
Star Lake Camp accredited by the American Camp Association a community of camp professionals working to preserve, promote, and articulate the value of camp experience says "The traditional summer camp recognizes that play is a powerful form of learning that contributes mightily to the child's healthy physical, emotional, social,[spiritual] and intellectual development."
We do believe children should be academically equipped to be valuable contributors in the marketplace but we also realize that play and learning both go hand in hand with great benefits. The importance of play has been recognized as early as the time of the Greek philosopher Plato who stated "You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."