Top 10 Reasons to Send Your Kid to Summer Camp

Sending your kid to summer camp can be one of the most difficult and rewarding choices you’ll make this year. Whether it is an all summer long day camp, or a week long overnight camp, the benefits are infinite! But for the sake of brevity, we’ve narrowed it down to ten:

Top 10 Reasons to Send Your Kid to Summer Camp

  1. Fun – Let’s start with the most obvious reason. At any summer camp that you choose to send your child to, fun will be the number one priority (apart from safety of course). The days are full activities, barely allowing a moment’s rest. Children leave camp brimming with excitement over the day’s events, often ready for a quiet evening after having exerted themselves all day.

  1. Time away – On top of having quieter evenings, the days are entirely quiet! Whether you are a stay at home parent or working during the day, camp days are often longer than school days and allow for a little bit of extra rest.

  1. Socialization – While you are enjoying a bit of rest (or productivity), your child is participating in a variety of activities that all encourage different aspects of socialization. They may be learning to share through arts and crafts, the value of teamwork in sports and trust exercises, or even simply how to get along with people that are different than they are.

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  1. Structure – Throughout all of this, there is always a strong sense of structure. Children thrive off of a solid structure. They know the boundaries and are free to operate within them, they also know that there are consequences to breaking the structure; further preparing them for life after childhood.

  1. Increased Creativity – Though camps are certainly structured, there is often designated free time. It is especially during this free time that kids will develop their creativity. The kids will be without direction from their mom, dad, or counselor. This freedom spawns their creativity and the camp environment is the perfect place to let them explore!

  1. New Skills – Along with increasing their creativity in free time, the skills that they learn at camp will broaden their mental and physical capabilities overall. New skills learned at camp will certainly vary among camps, but a few of the most common are: arts and crafts, yoga, swimming, horseback riding, ect. And if your camp specializes like at Sifu Och Wing Chun, they could even learn martial arts or dance.

  1. Active – Many of these new skills will get your kid moving, instilling a sense of how important frequent physical activity is. Summertime was once a time of outdoor exploring and activity, summer camps keep this tradition alive with plenty of activity.

  1. Nature – Recent years seem to have pushed summer activities indoors, limiting a child’s exposure to sunlight and nature. Summer camp ensures outdoor activities in nature, often way more than any of us see in a week.

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  1. Unplugged – Going along with exposure to nature is the huge benefit of unplugging at camp. This is personally my favorite reason to go to camp. Cell phones have taken over our world in a huge way, and this generation’s children will be the first to grow up surrounded by this phenomenon.

  1. Immersion – Being unplugged allows for your kid to be completely immersed in their surroundings at camp. They are able to focus their whole attention to the task at hand and grow as an individual on a higher level than they would be able to with the distractions of daily life. This has the opportunity to start combating ADHD tendencies and possibly reduce the need for medication.

I like to consider summer camp to be education without the rigidity and monotony of school. Children are able to learn so much at camp without ever getting bored! A feat schools have been trying to pull off for decades. So this year consider sending your kid to summer camp. Watch as these ten reasons come to life in the little person in front of you.

History of Kendo – The Way of the Sword

Not many martial arts base their concept on the use of an object. Fencing, Iaido, and Kendo are the few which do. Fencing revolves around the use of the rapier. Iaido Practitioners utilize the katana. Finally, similar to Iaido, Kendo’s training involves preparation for the use of a Katana with a Shima. Here in Kendo’s History, we will focus on the history of Kendo including its origins as a 2 part series. In Part 2, we will change our focus to its practice.

KenDo’s Meaning

Kendo structures its art around the Japanese sword. Coincidentally, Kendo derives its name from the same. “Ken” is the Japanese character meaning sword, and “Do” is the character meaning way or path. Kendo is literally translated as “The way of the sword”. Like Wing Chun kung fu, the exact origin of the art is unknown, and its history does not link back to any founder. Based on historical studies, the history of Kendo stems from kenjutsu (the art of the sword) over several centuries. Both swordsman and Samurai played key roles in keeping it alive.

HISTORY of Kendo

Like Kendo, Kenjutsu’s origin is uncertain. The history of Kendo can, however, be traced back to the Heian period (794-1185). During that time its congruent years allowed the Samurai to perfect their sword techniques. The martial art was not highly sought after until the late Muromachi period (1336-1568). At that time, a long civil war ensued and resulted in the establishment of more Kenjutsu schools. After the turmoil in the early years of the Edo period (1603-1867), the concept of kenjutsu underwent a change. The techniques of the art initially focused on killing. Setsunin-to (the life-taking sword) eventually changed to the opposite: katsujin-ken (the life-giving sword). Katsujin-ken focused not only on swordsmanship but also on the discipline of one’s inner-self. Swordsman published many books relaying their theories on swordsmanship. One notable work is Musashi Miyamoto’s “The Book of Five Rings”.

Modern Kendo

Modern kendo did not take its form until the Shotoku era (1711-1715). Naganuma Shirozaemon Kunisato of the Jiki-shinkage-ryu school improved on the use of the bogu (armor) as well as the shinai (bamboo sword). He also established a shinai training method. In this continuing era of peace many Samurai established schools (dojos), teaching their art of kenjutsu or traveling from region to region honing their skills in inter-school competitions. Of the many schools during the Edo period in the 19th century, three schools became recognized as the “Three Great Dojos of Edo”. These included Renpeikan led by sinsei Saito Yakuro, Shigakken led by sinsei Momoi Shunzo, and Genbukan led by sinsei Chiba Shusaku. Several of Chiba’s techniques are still practiced today.

Kendo’s Rise

With the rise of the Meiji Restoration in 1868, and the abolition of the Samurai, the practice of kenjutsu witnessed a drastic decline. It was not until after an unsuccessful resistance movement on the government in 1877, that the government noticed the benefits of kenjutsu. It began teaching the practice to its Tokyo Metropolitian Police. The forming of the Dai-Nippon Butoku-Kai organization in 1895 allowed for the nationalization of the practice of kenjutsu. The rapidly growing popularity of Kenjutsu soon demanded a universal form. After careful deliberation between schools, Kenjutsu masters created the Nihon Kendo Kata, a set of kendo regulations.

Kendo Resurrected

Kendo and its practice remained uninterrupted into World War II, where the occupying allied forces saw kendo as undemocratic. They also saw it as having militaristic associations and outlawed the practice. This also resulted in the disbanding of the Butoku-kai organization. The Ban did not last long. The All Japan Kendo Federation revitalized Kendo with its founding in 1952. The Federation changed Kendo to take the shape of a “pure sport” martial art which was vital to its resurrection. The focus shifted from combat to the development of mind and body with the purpose of obtaining a better life for oneself. Furthermore, since the establishment of the International Kendo Federation in 1970, Kendo has made a popular appearances globally with many people wanting to practice the art.


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