“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself”
- John Dewey
It’s School Camp season at AISM! Next week our students from Year 6 to Year 10 head off to a variety of exciting destinations both in Malaysia and overseas. In Week 10 it is the turn of our Junior School students too!
There are so many benefits for our students that come from attending school camps. Here are just a few…
1- Connecting with Nature: We live in a world where it is easy to spend most of our time absorbed in an artificial and electronic world. The allure of the mobile phone can be hard to resist and many young people (and adults!) spend hours every day on TikTok, Instagram and other forms of social media. I worry about the effect that too much screen time has on the minds of our children and young people. As human beings, we are products of the land, the earth and the environment. It is incredibly important for our wellbeing to retain our connection with our physical world. School camps allow us to nurture this connection. Surrounded by the beauty of nature, we learn to appreciate and explore the outdoors, fostering a sense of environmental stewardship and promoting physical activity and well-being. We are reminded of who we are, what we value and our place in the larger world around us.
2- Social Interaction and Bonding: Camps bring students together in a different social setting, promoting teamwork and cooperation. They provide an opportunity for our students to interact and build relationships with one another in an entirely different way to day-to-day school like. Through shared experiences and challenges, students develop friendships and a sense of belonging. Students also come to see their teachers in different and enriching ways, learning more about them as human beings and as role models. As much as camps provide us with an opportunity to reconnect with nature, they also provide us with an opportunity to reconnect with one another.
3 - Cultural and Global Awareness: Whether in Malaysia or overseas, school camps often expose students to different regions, countries, traditions and routines, promoting acceptance, empathy, and national & global awareness. They broaden students' horizons and encourage them to embrace diversity.
4 - Break from Routine: School camps offer a break from the regular school routine, providing students with a refreshing change of pace. This break can reduce stress, rejuvenate students' minds, and increase motivation, engagement and achievement when they return to their regular academic activities.
5 - Character Building: School camps often include character-building activities and challenges that encourage students to push their limits, face fears, and develop resilience. As Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky wrote, ‘Children grow into the intellectual life around them’. At AISM, our goal is for students to become more curious, more creative and more empathetic, to become better listeners who embrace challenge, learn from mistakes, relish feedback and develop their independence. Camp provides numerous opportunities for our students to try on these dispositions for size. Personal growth is the inevitable consequence!
My best wishes go out to all of our students and teachers for a happy, safe and enriching camp experience!