How to Trust the Thrilling Activities at Summer Camps for Kids

Kids having fun in ropes course adventure park

The Thrilling Activities at Summer Camps for Kids provide the moments for them to find their inner confidence and shine brighter than ever.  These Moments Can Set Your Kid on the Path To Success.

A wondrous selection of new activities and adventures await your young camper at summer camps all across the US.  There will be programs and activities that they have never seen before or challenged themselves to in the past.

The Thrilling Activities are some of the camps permanent activities that can be offered at every session.  They are usually broken up into their own zones with their own specialist equipment and safety elements.

These activities always require a higher degree of professionalism and awareness from the camp staff and volunteers. 

In some cases, certifications are absolutely necessary to ensure your kids safety and well-being.  Such as the aquatic staff at the ever-popular pool activities at most summer camps for kids.

One of the best lessons I learned at camp was that challenge can bring out the best in us.

Those moments will demand that your camper dig deep both mentally and physically to accomplish the goal. And keep in mind that the goal doesn’t necessarily mean the completion of the course.

It is simply about finding the strength to take one more step when fear compels the opposite. As long as your camper meets that moment with fortitude, they are a champion in my book.

These moments of digging deep within themselves will resonate within your kid for a very long time.  They will hopefully find in themselves the kind of confidence that will carry them through many of life’s later challenges.

Some of the most powerful, and proudest, moments of my life have been found on top of tough mountains with no easy ways up.  The seeds of these adventures were all born in the strength I found within myself at camp!

There are so many enriching benefits to a kids camp experience.  Benefits that will ripple positively throughout the kids lives.  Wondering what are the true benefits of camp?  Check out our recent post, The Life-Changing Benefits of Summer Camps for Kids.

The Thrill And Challenge Of The Ropes Course!

The Ropes Challenge Course will be divided into Three Areas: High, Mid & Low Ropes.

High Ropes are the most challenging and involve kids completing challenges that are rigged far above the ground (up to 60 feet). It is typically reserved for kids 12 years and up due to safety concerns.

The Camp should always, without exception, be using professional rock climbing equipment. It is standard in the climbing world that all equipment should, no matter the condition, be retired after 5 years of use.

The course should always feature two different rigged cable lines above – one for the kid / belayer, and one for potential rescue.

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Mid Ropes involves similar challenges to High Ropes but are rigged much lower to the ground (up to 30 feet). Not all camps have this section on their courses.

It provides a thrilling climbing activity for the younger kiddoes, starting at 8 years old. Mid Ropes should be using the same safety elements and equipment as high ropes.

Low Ropes involve ground-based activities that focus more on group-oriented and team building challenges.

The Need For Speed On Mountain Biking!

Mountain Biking is an activity that requires very specific safety protocols as it presents unique risks and the potential for more serious injuries.

It takes place on pre-evaluated trails that can extend beyond the camp property lines, and involves kids propelling themselves at high speeds across uneven terrain.

This activity always requires a mountain bike specialist to lead from the front, and at least one (preferably two) counselors at the rear.

No kids should fall behind the counselor at the back. The mountain bike specialist will be very aware of the trail and the correct pacing across them (especially downhills).

Helmets will be inspected and worn by everyone without exception.

This is an activity where the freak accidents can, and will, occur on occasion even with the proper supervision.

It is how the staff immediately respond to an incident that really matters. Most camps will have a few stories of accidents on their courses.

Gotta Get My Paddle On!

Kayaking is an activity that is close to my heart. I started my kayaking in my early camp days as a wee little kid, and it is a hobby that I still actively keep up with to this day.

Kayaking and canoeing at camp typically involve either an on-site or shared off-site setting.

For safety protocols, there will always be at least two certificated lifeguards patrolling on kayaks. Every kid will be provided and fitted with a lifejacket prior to launching out.

The boats will be launched out by adult staff who will then watch from shore to support the lifeguards. Each canoe will also have at least one adult accompanying the kids.

Fun In The Sun at Camp!

Pool Activities typically occur at a well-maintained and enclosed on-site pool.  These are the most sensitive areas for any camp director, as they are where the highest potential risk exists for any camp.

Accidents occur very quickly, and sometimes very quietly, in these areas.  Constant vigilance is required from all of the staff. 

There will be at least one certificated lifeguard for every 20 to 25 kids in the pool area; whether they are swimming or not. The certificated lifeguards will be spread out for maximum coverage to ensure quick response time to any emergency.

Prior to the pool activity beginning, every kid will be required to participate in a swim test. This is a quick activity conducted in smaller groups that require kids to swim from one end of the pool to the other.

They will be watched closely by the lifeguards to evaluate their overall swimming ability. Once all kids have completed this test, each child will be assigned to a level of swimming ability.

Camps that offer voluntary or mandatory swimming lessons will then assign the kids to their instruction classes.

Any kid that is obviously struggling will either not be allowed to swim or will be restricted to a shallower area of the pool with easier access.

Summer camps for kids will usually recommend that all girls wear one-piece swimming suits.  Remember Camp is a place where hormones tend to rage.

The kids will usually want to visit the pool several times during their camp experience.  The pool activities are always a highlight for the kids as it presents an opportunity for unstructured chill-out time with their peers.

Multi-Ethnic Children, Fun at Kids Camp Pool

How Will Extreme Weather Affect These Programs at Summer Camp?

Due to the increased risks that rough weather conditions can present, the ropes course, mountain biking, and kayaking/canoeing activities will be temporarily suspended.

It is possible for certain pool activities to still take place, as it is considered a more controllable area for the camp.  Though this is unlikely unless the camp has found a unique, safe, and engaging way to keep the kids excited despite the weather.

If any kind of localized lightning is present though, all of these activities will stop immediately without exception.  The rule for camps is to keep these activities suspended until at least 30 minutes of weather has passed without any other signs of lightning.

As every camp staffer knows though, sometimes the storms can move in fast and you can suddenly find yourself having to hustle back to camp.

I experienced this freak occurrence once during a summer season.

I was leading a group back to camp from an overnight out-camping activity.  I actually remember waking up that morning, looking up at an ugly black sky, and thinking “well this just got a whole lot more interesting.”

I prefer to sleep under the stars whenever I have the chance.  A habit that has carried over from my backcountry guiding days.

The weather that day was turning fast!  I knew that we were in for a hustle as soon as I woke up.

I have never had lightning strike so close to the hiking group.  It sounded like artillery was striking all around us, and made the ground vibrate.  In these rare circumstances, the staff and counselors should make every effort to maintain a calm, positive and reassuring attitude for the campers.

What Are Traditional Camp Activities?

The Traditional Camp Activities are offered at almost all camps for kids, and feature at family camps as well.  Some of my most emotionally profound and life-changing experiences were felt in these activities.

I have seen many a camper and adult well up with tears during these incredibly touching activities.  There’s honestly too much to express here, so we decided to dedicate an entire post to it.  Take a looksy, What Are the Traditional Activities at Summer Camps for Kids.

That’s A Wrap!

Hopefully, this post provided some helpful insights into summer camps for kids.  I have fond memories of competing with my mates on the thrilling camp activities back in the day. 

One of my all-time favorites was the challenge of not being tossed off the inflatable banana boat.  Clutching for all your might as the speed boat driver giddily tried to knock you off.  Back in New Zealand, camps were a little rougher at times.

You’ve done an incredible thing sending your kid to camp!  I want to make sure that your kids summer camps never take that for granted. You deserve to feel safe and assured sending your loved ones to an amazing camp experience that will hopefully impact them for the rest of their lives.

This post is a part of our KCE Camp Tidbit – My Kid’s Doing What At Camp.   Have a great time preparing your young camper for their unforgettable outdoor adventure!

“Camp is where I learned about me; facing fear, trying new things, pushing my boundaries, and accepting myself.”

– Former Camper

For more of the best kid camp tips and insight, subscribe to our free and exclusive KCE Camp Tidbits emails.

Want to Share Your Experience or Ask a Question About the Different Summer Camps for Kids? Leave a Comment Below!

3 thoughts on “How to Trust the Thrilling Activities at Summer Camps for Kids

  1. Tyler Johnson says:

    That’s good to know that your kids would be safe the entire time. I am sure that would be a big priority for the camp. I’ll have to keep that in mind if I decide to send my kids to a summer camp.

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