With spring around the corner and summer soon to follow, it's time to start figuring out just how to keep the kids active and entertained when school lets out. 

One good option is to sign your kids up for summer camp ... whether it's a day camp or the overnight variety, camp helps kids make new friends, build confidence, try new things and learn about the natural environment.  Most camp programs also offer a full lineup of physical activities like hiking, canoeing, swimming and sports. 

Camp is a great way for your child to unplug from their gadgets and plug in to the people and places around them.  According to a study by two Cornell University environmental psychologists, being close to nature can help boost a child's attention span. Additionally, a study conducted by the University of Essex in England concluded that nature can help people recover from pre-existing stresses or problems, has an immunizing effect that can protect from future stresses, and helps people to concentrate and think more clearly.

And it can also just be plain old fun.  Kids can be kids at camp ... singing silly songs, playing funny games, making friends and sharing memories that can last a lifetime.

To find out what camp programs are offered in your area, contact your local community's recreation department or check out the American Camp Association.

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