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WHY CAMP MATTERS

Never before in the history of American education have the roles, values and ideals of summer camp been so important in the development of our children’s lives.

Since 1926, Camp Harmony has been a Somerset County staple, providing over 20,000 campers with the summer of their lives.  But running one of New Jersey’s premier day camps makes us more than just summer camp supporters, it makes us enduring believers in the value of camp.  Research indicates that the summer camp experience creates a wide array of “mores”, showing children developing more social skills, making more friends, growing more independently, demonstrating more leadership qualities, trying more new things and maturing into more adventurous young men and women, all of which take their place in the forefront of our early learners’ educations at The Orchard Academy.

Peg Smith, CEO of the American Camp Association recently wrote, “Preparing children for academic and work success doesn’t end in the summer — in fact, it’s only the beginning! Summer camp experiences provide campers with the environment they need to gain characteristics like confidence, wellbeing, and conflict resolution skills — which, according to a recent Psychology Today article, are critical to academic and work achievement.”


WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT

With 50 years of child care experience, Camp Harmony serves as our model for integrating the core values of summer camp – experimentation, encouragement, play, self-discovery and social & emotional growth – in a year-round setting to enrich the growth of our students.

In a recent study of 80 summer camps and over 5,000 participants (including campers, parents and camp staff), the following outcomes showed the greatest gain from employing these values of camp:


All ideals perfectly suited for the social and emotional growth of early childhood learning and all key aspects of what we believe in at The Orchard Academy at Camp Harmony.  Through our curriculum, the integration of our Arts program and a staff committed to children becoming their best selves, TOA provides students with the invaluable summer camp experience, YEAR ROUND!


In his 2007 book, The Power of Play, David Elkind find that over the last 20 years, children have lost 12 hours of free time per week with 8 of those lost hours once dedicated to unstructured play and physical activity.  At the same time, the number of minutes children devote as a passive spectator have increased five-fold from 30 minutes per week to over 3 hours.  The results are simple: children don’t know how to play!  They suffer from atrophy in their creativity, ability to be spontaneous, to exercise their imaginations and a drop-off in their predisposition for fantasy.

The Orchard Academy at Camp Harmony sees this deficiency and seeks to correct this downward trend!  Play is stressed, both structured and unstructured, throughout the day – not just in a quick recess period. 

Peg Smith comments, “While we might view free, unstructured play as frivolous, researchers know it’s anything but! Important socialization and maturation processes take place during unstructured play, when kids are able to cooperate, make mistakes, reflect, and explore. Not to mention — getting off the couch and moving around during play helps children reach their recommended sixty minutes of activity time per day.”

Creativity is imbued in everything we do – from shows to classroom dramatic play – and our halls are filled with staff who encourage students to exercise their most important muscle to build imagination, their brain.


For us, your children’s 8 weeks of the summer are not a second-thought – they’re an extension of our entire year.  Camp Harmony, one of New Jersey’s premier day camps, allows students enrolled at The Orchard Academy to continue their learning experience over the summer with the same philosophies, the same grounds and many of the same incredible staff.  Our students will find a seamless transition to their summer camp life without needing to learn new places, faces and names. 

That’s not to say that the Camp Harmony experience will be the same as the school year – quite the opposite!  The shared resources mean a comfort and safety for your children but their eight weeks of Camp are truly second-to-none and 100% unique.

To learn more about Camp Harmony, visit http://campharmony.com or click the button above.


LOYALTY & LOVE

At The Orchard Academy, there’s no pressure to commit to summer!  Camp Harmony provides flexible options but we understand that some families are enrolled in other camps or simply choose other child care options over the summer.  We see value and comfort in enrollment at Camp Harmony but it remains a distinct choice for families to make.  We do offer significant loyalty incentives for families who choose to spend all 12 months with us and we look forward to talking more about it with you in person or over the phone.