5 Reasons We Love Leadership Academy Camps in Nashville

As a Nashville mom to three girls currently ages 11, 9 and 6, I love exposing my kids to the experiences of summer camp! I grew up attending camp starting in 5th grade and had a blast! I still fondly recall many of my camp songs, bonfires, games and experiences and constantly share – especially the songs – with my girls – sometimes to their embarrassment!

Later, while in college I worked as a camp counselor during the summers in East Tennessee where I nurtured my love of the outdoors, of adventure and I also saw the benefits of attending summer camp in other kids.

My two older girls have been attending camps for several years and both have been to several Leadership Academy Camps including Nashville Sail Camp. This summer, my youngest will attend Camp Warner Park too and she can’t wait to join her sisters!

At summer camp, my kids learn tons of new things, they get to experiment with choices and activities, and they interact with other kids and adults in a new setting. But, I also recognize how camp builds social emotional skills, confidence and creativity in my kids. It gives them some newfound freedom and independence too.

I don’t think traditional camps have changed much over the years since I was a kid, but I do think we parents are programmed a bit differently from the parents who came before us. For better or for worse, we’re there, either physically or virtually, for every high-point and low-point of their days it seems. While we celebrate their successes and help them navigate the tough times throughout the year, it’s nice and beneficial to their growth to let someone else do that in a new environment every once in awhile. It allows our kids to stretch their wings in a new way and in a new place.

My daughters claim they love camp because “it is way less structured than school, it is fun and we get to try new things.”

“At sailing camp, I learned the names for all of the parts of the sailboat and how to sail my own boat which was awesome!”

“ I love all of the nicknames the counselors give and also the daily awards for being kind.”

As a parent, in addition to hearing my girls’ excitement about camp, here are my 5 favorite things about sending my kids to Leadership Academy Camps:

  • They Get Outside – I love that Leadership Academy Camps focus on being outside – stomping through creeks, learning to sail, searching for animal tracks and cooking s’mores, just to name a few of the activities they love. I have found that there is an emphasis on letting kids be kids and appreciating the outdoors while also being safe and educational.
  • They Make New Friends – My girls are often tentative around new people, but camp gives them the opportunity to open up and meet friends with similar interests in a safe and inviting space.
  • They Have Cool Adventures Without Me – My kids share stories of finding a giant crayfish or navigating a sailboat. Sometimes during these adventures, they encounter challenges and discover that they must search for solutions on their own, or with the guidance of another caring adult (who is not me) which is golden.
  • They Have Stories and Memories that are Uniquely Theirs — They come home each day recalling jokes, stories and moments shared with friends and counselors in their own treasured camp space.
  • They learn Something New – Whether it’s sailing or camp songs, identifying local trees or creek critters, they always learn something new about our world, themselves and our environment at camp!

I’m a huge advocate of summer camps to encourage independence and creativity in kids and I especially recommend Leadership Academy Camps to get your kids outside, explore nature, and expand their worldview right here in our local community.

Sarah is a freelance writer, editor and communications consultant in Nashville. Sarah, her husband Brad and their three girls love to adventure both Nashville and around the world. Sarah writes about kid-friendly Nashville and expanding your family’s worldview through travel, food, books and engaging in our local and international communities at TheWanderingRumpus.com. She is the Director of Travel Communications at TheFamilyBackpack.com, a lifestyle company designed to make family travel easier.

Follow Sarah @TheWanderingRumpus on Instagram & Facebook, @WanderingRumpus on Twitter & at TheWanderingRumpus.com.