Martial Arts Summer Camp FAQs
We have compiled some of the most frequently asked questions and answers regarding our children’s Martial Arts Summer Camp. Take some time to get informed on our Summer Camp program, and browse our FAQs!
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What’s the most important thing I can do to prepare my child for the first day of summer camp?
Start with positive expectations. If you express to your child that you believe he/she can do/will enjoy something, then he/she will probably think so, too! Keep in mind that your positive expectations need to be age-appropriate and attainable. This is where we come in to help.
My child has never done martial arts before. Is summer camp a good way to get started? Will the classes be beginner friendly?
Dragon Gym's classes and summer camps are designed to be the perfect place for beginners. As you'll notice once your child begins classes here, he or she will often work with fellow beginners, as well as students who have been with us for a while. This blending of abilities allows children to feel comfortable in classes, as they're the only beginners, and it also allows them to learn by modeling the behavior of higher-ranking students. As white belts, children learn discipline, respect, and precision from watching the higher belts. It’s a sort of observational osmosis—beginners observe discipline, respect, and precision demonstrated by their peers.
Surrounding white belts with fellow students who are beginners as well as more experienced students allows for:
- Intrapersonal learning (solitary—intrinsic motivation and self-study)
- Visual learning (spatial learning—observation of instructors and peers)
- Aural learning (learning via linguistic input—instruction and command)
- Interpersonal (collaborative social learning—group dynamic and team cohesion through partner work, team goal setting, and social interaction)
- Kinesthetic learning (learning via physical interaction and stimulation)
Our more experienced students learn by setting examples for our beginners, and have opportunities to teach and demonstrate techniques for their peers. There’s a power in combinations here. Because each child learns differently, our beginner-friendly classes allow for an idealized learning environment—no matter your child’s most effective learning style.
What should I look for when trying to find the perfect summer camp program for my child?
Child psychologists state that children who maintain some sense of a structured activity during the summer, like martial arts, do better in the initial months of the new academic school year. Martial arts training through the summer reinforces a time commitment and the necessity of practice; reminds students to follow through, and gives them the progressive environment they need to reinforce skills they’re learning, which in turn strengthens their retention of academic knowledge.
Making Summer Count is a research project conducted by the Wallace Foundation with the intention of understanding how summer programs can boost learning. The authors cite the following as the most important components of a successful summer learning program:
- Smaller class sizes
- Differentiated instruction
- High-quality instruction
- Aligned school year and summer curricula
- Engaging and rigorous programming
- Maximized participation- and attendance-sufficient duration
- Involved parents
- Evaluations of effectiveness
Therefore, these components are what you should look for in a summer program, whether it’s an academic camp, a daycare camp or, even better—though I may be a bit biased—a martial arts summer camp.
When considering a successful summer martial arts program, you’ll need each of the components listed above. Classes should be smaller in summer camp, allowing for more individualized instruction. Instruction should be differentiated, or tailored, to each child’s personality and learning style, which naturally is influenced by instructor-to-child ratio.
Instruction should be high quality, meaning it must be done by skilled and highly motivated teachers.
School year and summer curricula must be aligned. This means they allow for seamless transition to, follow-through of, and connection to the previous and upcoming school year’s curricula.
Programming must be rigorous and engaging, thus yielding the goals you’re looking for! Engaging is the key word here–it has to be FUN.
Getting involved as a parent is crucial.
Maximized participation and attendance is achieved through individualized instruction, as well as the constant movement and participation provided by martial arts instruction, and finally, class time and availability.
What if I need to pick up my child early or drop him/her off later?
Not a problem! Just give us a call at (610) 363-7575 or let us know at drop-off!
What options do you have for drop-off and pick-up times?
Full day summer camps run from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Full day students need to pack a lunch.
Half day summer camps run from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m.
We also have an early drop off option at 7 a.m. If you need this option, please check it when you complete the online registration form.
My child is a current Dragon Gym student. If should he/she attends summer camp, should he/she continue to attend regular classes as well?
Absolutely! If you’re looking for accelerated learning as well as the many other benefits yielded by martial arts training, you’ve found the perfect solution.
What can I expect my child to learn at the summer camps? Are they just fun and games, or do they include martial arts curriculum as well?
Our summer camps are packed full of fast-paced games designed to yield intellectual and physical stimulation. In addition, students also learn a martial arts curriculum. If your child attends at least two weeks of camp, they'll be eligible for accelerated belt promotion at the end of the second week.
What are the benefits of summer camp for my child’s development?
Here’s what we know. Skills deteriorate over time at a rate determined by the specified task, predicted by the individual’s original level of learning. Therefore, the method yielding the highest initial learning level leads to the highest level of skill retention over time.
But what are the effects of martial arts summer learning on your child’s social, physical, emotional, and cognitive development?
- Maintaining, increasing, and improving relationships with peers and instructors allows for social skill improvement, yielding increases in self-esteem, self-confidence, an improvement in focus, and more.
- Group play allows children to continue to grow with their peers, rather than being left behind.
- Continued development of spatial abilities.
- Martial arts skill retention.
- Healthy habits maintained and improved upon, allowing for steady upward arc in advancement and goal setting.
- Reinforcement of a time commitment and necessity of practice reminds students to follow through in their relationships, and the responsibilities to themselves and to others.
- Gives them the progressive environment they need to reinforce the skills they’re learning, which in turn strengthens their retention of academic knowledge.
- Boosts in intellectual stimulation.
- Prevents summer learning loss.
- Martial arts structure in goal setting and goal achievement carries over to goal-setting habits in other measures of learning, particularly academics.
- Self-defense learning is not at risk for mental decay.
In summation, summer camp is not about decreasing boredom. It’s about much, much more.