Benefits of Camp
Camp Rim Rock is more than a great place. It is an experience filled with tradition, character and friendship. For 71 years, campers have learned to ride horses, play sports, swim and appreciate the arts.
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 articles 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 pickup 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
- Camp Spirit
- 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
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