The Best Summer Camp Activities for Children

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Summer camp is all about experiencing new activities, meeting new people and developing confidence and independence. A great summer camp programme will provide opportunities for all attendees to grow and develop, improve skills and self-esteem within a safe and supportive environment. Outdoor activities are encouraged whilst there are ample opportunities for indoor activities too.

Some activities may be really hard for some children but with support and advice even the most scared child can attempt a climbing wall or a ropes course, for example. Watching other members of their group develop skills and be offered guidance will in turn help those more shy members. Fun is the number one priority at summer camp, new skills will develop alongside opportunities. At summer camp there are often opportunities to try out activities not offered in schools or your home community.

Summer camp offers children the opportunity to step out of their comfort zone and try out new activities. Maybe they are afraid of heights but with support will attempt a high ropes course, a climbing wall or an abseil. Your child may be scared of water but rafting down a river with a group of new friends may be too exciting to resist and they forget their fear of the water splashing their face. Summer camp is not all about outdoor activities but there is strong emphasis on exploring the natural environment through fun.

Some of the best outdoor activities to experience at a summer camp include:

  • orienteering
  • climbing
  • abseiling
  • archery
  • kayaking
  • rafting
  • tubing
  • obstacle course
  • ropes course
  • caving
  • horse riding
  • shooting

Not all summer camp activities are about adventure sports, although these are often great fun! Summer camp is about developing independence and trying out new activities, who knows where your talents lie if you only ever kick a soccer ball around at school!

As well as outdoor activities there are usually opportunities to explore arts and craft techniques or explore issues through drama classes. Music is important for development and is often incorporated into summer camp activities. Maybe you remember sitting around a campfire, toasting marshmallows and singing silly songs with new friends?

What is great about summer camp is spending time away from home and for children to learn how to make decisions for themselves without the constant presence of an adult to make those decisions for them. For many children, summer kids camp is their first time away from home and their parents. Children are grouped into same-sex rooms for sleeping, for safety and security. Each cabin or home room has the support of an adult leader who helps all the children settle in and have a great experience.

El Rancho is a summer camp based in New Zealand. They offer a kids Christian camp but also cater for school camps New Zealand wide. Many groups travel to Waikanae Beach to experience the activities at El Rancho year after year. El Rancho has an extensive range of activities and a variety of accommodation in Waikanae and catering options for small to large groups to help you have the best kids camp experience in New Zealand! Submit an enquiry form via their website


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