Camp prepares children for college and life.
Dr Wendy Mogel is a nationally-known clinical psychologist and educator who wrote the best-seller parenting book “The Blessing of a Skinned Knee”. She shared a story about a good friend of hers whose daughter was a freshman at college.
This woman’s daughter thrived in her first semester in college. She earned exceptional marks (making the Dean’s List) and she became president of the freshman class. During Parents weekend, her mother met the mother of a senior who was president of the entire student body and was weighing various job offers. The two mothers were sharing stories about their daughter’s college experience when the mother of the senior shared an unexpected thought:
“I bet your daughter went to overnight summer camp.”
- Camp helps students adjust to being away-from-home by giving them practice being away-from-home.
- Camp enables children to experience successful independence. Like college, they are away-from-home. Unlike college, they are in a community committed to their physical and emotional safety.
- Camp also helps campers deal with uncertainty. The camper who comes to camp for several years gets multiple opportunities to strengthen his or her resilience muscle. By the time they go to college, they are much more confident and resilient.
Washington Post article, “I send my kids to sleep-away camp to give them a competitive advantage in life”, by Laura Clydesdale outlines how In terms of “developing broadly as a human being,” summer camp can provide an impressive list of life skills.
Why an all girls camp?
In single sex camps, children are less likely to show off or feel self-conscious and shy around their peers or worry that they could be teased. The most common reason parents send their children to single sex camp is that they think summer is a time when their children can just be with the boys or the girls; it takes the stress out of having the opposite sex there.
Even if your child isn’t thinking about the other sex, a single gender
camp can set the stage for the future. According to Dr. Thurber,
although the single sex camp experience can be beneficial for all age
groups, the advantages are different. “Early on, it shapes the views
that they don’t have to conform to a stereotype, and for the tweens and
teens, a partially solidified view of what a boy or girl should be doing
gets broken down,” he says. And when parents choose a camp, they’re
hoping the philosophy and program will have their child wanting to come
back year after year. “Families that choose single sex camps are hoping
they’ll find a camp that is not only great for their 9-year-old but also
for that child at 13,” says Levison. Even when your child no longer
attends camp, the messages they received there can set them up for
future success. “Children think they can do anything they want and it’s
not constrained by their genders,” says Dr. Thurber.
Check out these article on the benefits of going to an all girls camp.
Homesickness is a natural part of growing up and an opportunity to grow in self confidence. Camp Rim Rock has a compassionate and realistic approach to nurturing the homesick camper into confidence and growth. We have listed a few references below.
What can you as a parent do to help prepare your daughter for camp? Talk about it. Find out the specific concern. Encourage your daughter’s coping abilities. Don’t undermine her confidence by making early pick up deals. This actually sets kids up for failure. Arrange plenty of practice times away from home. Come visit the camp. Focus on the fun she will have. Let her know her place at home is secure and that she can feel free to enjoy herself. On Opening Day, keep your goodbyes short, again showing your daughter that you have confidence in her coping abilities.
Check out these articles for tips on this issue:
The Value of Camp
Imagine Respect, Inspire Resilience, Impact Responsibility
Children Inside and Out/American Camp Association
Camp: The Old Neighborhood for a New Generation
Talking About Homesickness
Homesickness Articles/Kids Health
The Gift of Failure/Psychology Today
Fostering the Skills Critical to Success/Psychology Today
Creating Advantage in College/Psychology Today
Benefits of Camp