Extension News

Camps Prepare Children for College Life


AMES, Iowa-- Many experts believe that going to camp can help prepare children for college life and afterwards.


According to John V. Lombardi, chancellor and professor at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, “Students can become isolated and discouraged and drop out [of college]; they can find themselves distracted by social and other non-academic activities and neglect their school work."


Writing in a 2005 issue of Higher Education, Lombardi noted that university graduation rates are approximately 60 to 70 percent of initial enrollments.


Traci Haselhuhn, program specialist at the Iowa 4-H Center, said, "Summer camp teaches kids how to balance the fun with the work. They come to camp for a purpose, to interact with others and learn how to do something. Camp sets up a daily schedule that balances fun in a social setting with learning."


Lombardi also noted that some of those who succeed easily are smart and well prepared. Others who fail are also smart and academically well prepared but perhaps not yet ready to live away from home or experience a large university.


"Although other experiences may give kids these same life skills," Haselhuhn said, "summer camps provide a positive experience for children while building independence."


Some other skills children can learn at camp include leadership, self-identity, responsibility and trust.


According to the American Camp Association, campers' parents have reported for years that their children return from camp as more caring, giving and independent human beings.


Haselhuhn said, "The Iowa 4-H Center helps children gain self-identity and independence by allowing campers the opportunity to gain experiences that strengthen their sense of belonging, independence, generosity and mastery. The center follows the principles of learning by experience and from sharing knowledge."


The Iowa 4-H Center offers many different types of camps that range from overnight camps to week-long camps.


For more information about the benefits of camp, visit www.CampParents.org or contact Traci Haselhuhn at (515) 795-3338 or tracidh@iastate.edu



Contacts :

Traci Haselhuhn, Youth Campus Director, (515) 795-3338, tracidh@iastate.edu

Carol Ouverson, Continuing Education and Communication Services, (515) 294-9640, couverso@iastate.edu