It’s a Beautiful Day to Play

What is your absolute favorite memory of playing as a child?

It is likely that memory involved 1) no adults hovering and 2) only your imagination.

Today we live at a more demanding and structured pace. Yet kids still need to work their imagination muscles. Research repeatedly confirms the benefits: better problem solving, reduced anxiety, zest for life and so much more.

Play, in all forms, is central to camp.

An example of one of our favorite play adventures at YSSC is a hyped-up version of Capture The Flag: Outpost (for boys) and Uzemahti (for girls). After the staff sets the safety and fairness parameters, the campers determine everything else, including the strategy, costumes and outcomes. How rare is it today for a child to collaborate with pals to plan a sneak attack through the forest on their opponents’ base!

Whether or not they are successful at stealing the treasure or finding the princess isn’t the point. What is important is that they had the opportunity to dream, scheme, problem solve, work together, get dirty, gain confidence from positive risk, and feel the thrill of adventure (all with no adult grading them or telling them what they should improve).

Adventure play isn’t limited to camp! Here are a few playful adventures you can try at home:

  • Have a family game night where phones are put away!
  • Gather a few random art supplies and objects and make a craft.
  • Invite a friend over and build a fort with a movie night!


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