Think about a time when students once wrote papers with pen and paper, then along came the typewriter where they would peck away on the keys. Fast forward to our world today, where we rely on computers to help us execute various projects and processes. 

Perhaps, unlike ever before, it is critical for both middle and high school students to acquire new computer science skills. As we all know, a specific skill today may be obsolete tomorrow, so this is why it is so important to train the brain to adapt through skill acquisition. For this reason, private schools and colleges place a heavy emphasis on critical thinking, as well as analytical and creative approaches to problem-solving, rather than rote memorization or learning mechanics.  

To do well in a college or university, students need to know how to pursue an idea or interest, conduct research online, and organize their thoughts. They also need to know how to use various computer systems, including Microsoft and Apple, understand Google docs, and know how to organize their projects on platforms like Trello. 

Enrolling your child in a computer science camp will help them succeed in college by providing them with the necessary tools that most of their peers will not have acquired in middle or high school. They will gain many competitive advantages, so they become more efficient, effective, and confident when they head off to college or university. 

Not all Summer Computer Science Camps are Created Equal
Summer is a time when teens have a chance to develop into thinkers and leaders, and acquire both a mindset and new skillsets. 

Now, keep in mind that not all computer camps for middle and high school students are created equal. In fact, they can be quite different, so finding the right one is essential to really gain competitive advantages to prepare for college. The best computer science camps tend to offer a good balance between mental, physical, and social activities.

For example, at a private boarding school for boys in California, they set up a program to help students prepare for college, career, and life. They created a Summer Leadership Camp so campers acquire skills in leadership and teambuilding, alongside their choice of a specialty elective.  

In the cyber security and computer science elective, they introduce the use of Virtual Machines to run Windows 10 and Linux. This camp program reinforces the scientific process and promotes the appropriate use of technology. It also covers the concepts of personal responsibility for data, online behavior and digital leadership. Campers become familiar with the digital defense of operating systems and take responsibility for their data. 

As campers explore topics within cyber security and computer science, they are also directly or indirectly applying some math, science, and statistical concepts. These reinforce core academic subjects by putting these concepts into a new context. This helps prepare them for the upcoming academic year in middle or high school, but also lays the groundwork for college courses. 

In a Forbes article, the author stated “you will never forget anything you learn in mathematics; it won’t be incorrect in ten years or a hundred.” Once again, learning how to apply mathematical and scientific concepts, within the context of computer science, really makes these core academic subjects come alive. 

In fact, computer science degree programs typically teach students to build a toolkit based on: discrete math, real analysis, manifold theory (involves geometry), topology, statistics and probability, abstract algebra, linear algebra, computation and complexity theory, and number theory. 

Without this kind of knowledge and preparation, even strong students may face tough challenges in college as they navigate databases, algorithms, and data structures. 

Computer Science Summer Camps Help Teens Learn Soft Skills
If you want your teen to follow a passion like computer science, make sure the computer science camp includes other soft skills such as: self-discipline, resilience, responsibility, independence, and confidence. Learning how to lead, work in teams and develop positive relationships, as well as how to resolve conflict will be essential in college. 

Also, don’t forget to check out the camp’s daily schedule for physical activities. Depending on your child’s interests, look for water-based activities like swimming, surfing, kayaking or other outdoor activity such as: camping, rock climbing, and hikes. 

Physical activity feeds the brain and kicks up endorphins that are so critical to mental acuity. In college, students often struggle with life balance, so choosing a computer science summer camp for high school or middle school students, one that offers a balanced day can be a great way to establish positive mental and physical habits that will be needed in college. 

Remember, summer time is supposed to be fun, so seek out a computer camp that offers excursions and trips to get outside the classroom. Some computer science camps offer educational trips to museums, but they also might be located in cities or small towns where students can go off campus. 

Of course, parents should always ensure the camp follows health and safety protocols, so your child eats well, gets plenty of sleep, and has strong mentorship and supervision. This is important to maximize learning during computer science lessons, where focus and attention to details are so important. Going to camp also teaches teens how to be protective of their own health, safety, and well-being. 

Beyond all of the benefits of going to a computer science camp to gain competitive advantages to prepare for college, bear in mind, enrolling in camp may also help with admission to a college or university. Colleges and Universities want to ensure incoming students possess key computer skills, experience life away from home during summer experiences, and demonstrate they are well-rounded.  If a teen is lucky enough to go to camp, this will help them navigate mentally, physically, emotionally, and socially, once they go away to college. 

When looking for a camp, consider one situated on a boarding school campus, because these schools tend to be similar to a college campus. Private boarding schools generally offer campers a rich balance between classes, physical exercise, and social exchanges. These are all essential to navigate the college experience and face new life challenges. 

As we all know, it is really not enough just to acquire new computer skills. The future needs young people today to know how to set goals, organize, manage their time effectively, and solve highly complex problems. 

Summer camps can help cultivate passionate learners and innovators, including individuals who will make their mark in the amazing field of computer science. A computer science camp can be a great way for teens to explore interests that could lead to positive career choices down the road. This also allows them a chance to begin to figure out their interests and ideas for a college major or minor. 

A computer science summer camp will not only accelerate learning new skills, but will give your child a toolkit that will serve them in college and throughout their lives. The competitive advantages, not only reinforce academic subjects, but lead to the acquisition of new skillsets and a mindset. This will allow your child to shine in college and life beyond. 

For further information on the Summer Leadership Camp or — to reserve an Open House date, e-mail summer@armyandnavyacademy.org or call 760.547.5207 or 760.547.5288 Address: 2605 Carlsbad Boulevard, Carlsbad, CA 92008