Many parents won’t allow their child to go on a school field trip or school outdoor education trip unless they are chaperoning, so it’s no surprise that those same parents may find the idea of sending their child to sleep-away camp incomprehensible. As a camp parent, you may get a shocked response from one of these “non-camp” parents. They may ask you things like, “How can you stand having your child away from you for so long?” or, “How will she survive without you?” or, “Isn’t he too young to go camping alone?” Or, they may comment, “I would never send my child away to camp for two weeks.” In all of these negative responses, there is an underlying criticism of your parenting.
If you find yourself in the awkward position of being criticized for the decision to send your young child to camp, you may want some extra “ammunition” to defend your decision. And, if you are never in the position of defending your camp decision, let this list remind you about just a few of the many reasons why you are being a great parent by sending your child to camp!
You are giving your child the gift of magical childhood memories — dirt, adventure, story, and joke-filled days and nights spent with friends outdoors, under the stars, and around the campfire. These childhood memories will last forever.
“Our best childhood memories do not include adults.”
– Michael Thompson,
Going to camp has made most more independent and a much better people-person.
You are giving your child a break from the pressures and stress of competitive sports, school, and you. Forgive me if that offends, but I, too, am a well-meaning but over-involved parent who provides just a bit too much advice, feedback, and guidance to my children. Our kids need a break from our well-intentioned involvement in their lives.
Camping gets you unplugged. From a personal level, camp has helped me appreciate nature and the outdoors a lot more than I think I would have if I didn’t go. I can go without my phone or connection to social media awhile because camp has shown me that amazing stuff happens when you put your phone down and have a nice conversation with someone.
The bonding and friendships that happen at camp are different from those that occur at school and on sports teams. The intensity of living together and experiencing life together, without distractions, creates the ideal setting to form lifelong friendships and really get to know people well.
Psssst first time camping parent, your shy, quiet nine-year-old might come to Stepout Adventure camp not knowing a soul. A weeks later, he/she came will come home transformed. Blossoming. Made friends, learned a multitude of activities, felt safe, loved, confident, and happy — really, really happy. This is me to you.
To register for stepout Adventure camp, Click HERE
This article was originally published at http://sunshineparenting
The woods offer a special reprieve from daily life at the same time that they present unusual challenges, and it’s this combination that makes camping such a wonderful avenue of growth. Beyond the fun and fresh air, camping can teach teens and pre-teens valuable life lessons and a wide range of experiences opportunities for self-discovery, learning and physical and mental wellness.
Camping shouldn’t be an unpleasurable or overwhelmingly uncomfortable experience, but you may have to face life without padded walls for a few hours. This is a good thing. The point isn’t to suffer, but your sleeping arrangements don’t need to include a memory-foam mattress. You may feel chilly, so step closer to the fire. You may not have your favorite snack on hand, so you’ll appreciate what you do have.
Go into the tiny discomforts with gratitude, and they’ll melt away by the light of the campfire.