Summer camp fosters social skills


Grace Engelman

“Egg Drop Testing Zone” Sign for the Early Childhood Center’s workshop.

Grace Engelman, Student

Northern Kentucky University’s Early Childhood Center Summer Camp gives kids aged 9 to 14 the opportunity to socialize with their peers and build their skills with a team.

On Wednesday, students collaborated to build contraptions for an egg drop. Audrey Wilson, the camp coordinator, said, “Learning to communicate and work out real problems with each other is something they can use throughout their lives.”

Students faced a number of challenges throughout the process, including debates on things like what materials to use for their projects. When disagreements occurred, the camp counselors stepped in to smooth things over. Wilson explained, “You’re bringing kids together that don’t know each other or they’ve never met before…and you have a lot of different ideas coming together in one room for one project.”

The Early Childhood Center is a safe space for kids to gain the skills they’ll need as they enter adolescence, Wilson said. In their interactions with fellow campers, children discover how to treat their peers and what their boundaries are, she said.

But the campers weren’t always aware of their education.

“We haven’t been doing learning things,” said Lucas Busher, a camper. “We’ve just been playing every day.”