Why residential Summer Camp is important
Sleep under the stars. Catch a fish. Learn how to play guitar. Paddle a canoe. Go watersking. Play ball. Make friends. Build a fire. Climb a mountain. Roast a marshmallow. These are just some of the things a child can do at a residential (sleep-away) summer camp. Summer camp builds character. Summer camp breeds affinity with nature. Summer camp forges bonds between children that last a life time. A parent that sends their child to sleep away camp is giving them a gift that will last a lifetime. The child who goes to sleep-away camp makes real connections. At camp, children do not have access to electronics or technology. It gives today’s child an important opportunity to “unplug.” These days, sleep-away summer camp may be the last environment where a child can unplug and have quality face time. Camp teaches a child about responsibility and the importance of meaningful relationships. Sleep-away camp, in particular, is an intense experience because it is 24/7. The sleepaway camp experience has always provided children the opportunity to go outside and play. For the current generation of parents who want to raise self-reliant, compassionate, and ethical children. Summer camp is the best decision. As parents we want our children to become successful adults.
Now that our campers are back home and at school, we heard some of have had some challenges this fall. I believe their camp experiences are what prepared them to manage those challenges. Through camp, they have learned resilience. Through camp, they have learned empathy. Through camp they have learned to step out of their comfort zone, to take initiative and write their own story. Camp Wekeela and other summer camps are preparing children for life! What a joy and a gift it is to be part of that process and to partner with parents to help their children grow! This gift of partnering with parents and being responsible for other people’s children also comes with an obligation to continually educate ourselves. We have a responsibility to reflect on the camp experience, to challenge ourselves to learn about the complex world with which our youth are faced, and to be intentional about the creation of our camp communities and each individual’s experience within those communities. At Wekeela, we seek opportunities throughout the year to learn, to broaden our perspective, and to help us create thoughtful, developmentally appropriate and formative experiences for children.
Summer camps are more than just a place for children to be during school vacation. They’re a safe place for children to learn social rules, acceptable behavior, independence, confidence, and leadership. Camp teaches a child how to grow up. Camp teaches a child about responsibility and the importance of meaningful relationships. Sleep-away camp, in particular, is an intense experience because it is 24/7. Unlike friends on Social Media, camp friends are lifelong friendships. At camp, kids can truly be themselves. And that is arguably the best part of sleepaway camp.
Lori and I look forward to working together in the year ahead, to prepare ourselves to be the best partners and resources we can to our campers and their families.