Summer activities provide children with outlets

Published 10:17 pm Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Summer camps, when done right, are amazing opportunities for young children, often just shy of their older teen years, to stay busy while school is out.

Most summer camps nowadays offer educational alternatives to a typical arts- and crafts-a-thons from summer camps years past. Creative outlets can be wonderful for young children, but many studies show that many students lose more than two and a half months of what they’ve learned from the previous school year during the summer, mostly math-related skills. Many summer camps now keep that in mind and set up educational and fun activities for students to enjoy. Many even give children the chance to go to libraries and continue reading like they would in school.

And, understanding the importance of healthy meals for young, growing, many camp coordinators ensure that children get the proper nutrition they need to keep them happy and healthy while riding bikes, swimming or even learning Spanish. Most camps now, if started early enough, will provide young tummies with a healthy breakfast and lunch with an afternoon snack to hold them over to dinner. For older campers, camp coordinators will also try and educate students the growing importance of eating healthy. And, for children who don’t have access to nutritious meals during the summer break, federally funded programs are available to ensure they get proper nutrition. More than a dozen locations throughout Troy and Brundidge offer lunches to students each weekday through July 17. From the Boys and Girls Club to schools to daycares and day camps, summer lunch programs provide a much-needed nutritional resource to hundreds of Pike County children.

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Another hallmark of the Southern summer, vacation Bible schools also provide great time-fillers for students out on break. While more fun-filled, vacation Bible schools provide students with an opportunity to spend some time with old and new friends, learning about their faith; about what it means to live that faith; and reinforcing the social and moral values that are critical to their development. Or course, a healthy amount of arts, crafts, singing and good, old-fashioned fun are thrown into the mix. Vacation Bible schools provide an opportunity for young children to become comfortable in a church environment and grow closer to their church family, which as we all know can occasionally serve as a home-away-from-home family.

Parents who are looking for opportunities for their children this summer can find them in the Datebook listings of The Messenger, where day and vacation Bible schools are included, and in the calendar listings at

Most are available for free or a nominal charge and, all things considered, make an excellent investment in your child’s summertime experience.