Camp is to kids, what work is to mom…a chance to be a part of something bigger, a place to get away to, a community to be an important part of, and an opportunity for upward mobility. Kids need camp, like moms need work!
Camps provide a place where children hold a majority position, they are transposed, if only for the day, to a world where everything is about them: programs are designed special for them, toilets are their size, they are allowed to get dirty and play outside in a drizzle, they can even paint themselves and scream out their team cheer! Nobody tells them to “shush!” Camp is about the kids, it’s the community in which they belong.
Its important for a child to be given the opportunity to develop independently of their parents. To test themselves in social situations & learn from their mistakes. To doubt themselves at first, only to be surprised at what persistence & hard work accomplishes. At Adventure Valley Day Camp, these opportunities present themselves daily & campers thrive on their success.
I recently attended the Ontario Camps Association professional conference. One of the keynote speakers, Dr. Wendy Mogel, shared with us her insights from her recent publication The Blessings of a Skinned Knee. In a nutshell, Dr. Mogel was urging parents to take a back seat more often, to not be overly over protective, to let their children fall down and get that skinned knee! I couldn’t agree with her more. We do this every day at camp!
As the director of Adventure Valley Day Camp I often find myself taking on the role of therapist to many a camp parent, when we find ourselves discussing little Johnny or Emily and how we, as a parenting team, can help them succeed in camp, and in life. Luckily, for me and my campers, I have the great outdoors of a country setting to use as my therapist office!
Camp is therapy for the kids. It reminds them that they are citizens of a bigger community and gives them the chance to live up to that responsibility. Camp is also therapy for parents, helping you to raise your children with confidence, sense of community, ambition and a strong sense of self worth….not to mention a little dirt under the fingernails and once in a while a skinned knee.