Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Dispatches from Camp: Skipping Away

One of my favorite things about being at camp is the freedom that my children feel while there.
We certainly supervise them, but there is no concern when they run ahead on the path or escape our eyes for a few minutes.
I know there is someone who is ready to look out for them.

Camp is a remarkably safe way to teach children independence.
We send them away from home, but we know that they're not out in the world alone. They are constantly cared for while still gaining responsibility. Their parents aren't hovering and asking them if they changed their underwear - but they are safely ensconced in a supportive and nurturing environment.

Campers get to make choices, in ways that they often never get to do. They are presented with a list of activities and asked to choose. They are given the option to swim the lake or sleep in. They put the food on their own plates from the provided meals.

Campers have tasks to take on, tasks that they might never take on at home. They have to consider what goes to the laundry, they clear their plates from the table, they are responsible for keeping and maintaining their own belongings. (And sometimes they don't do any of this very well...but that's part of the learning process, isn't it?)

I know that I don't need to add my voice to the many who speak of the importance of summer camp for children.
But something this very true bears repeating over and over again.

Because I want camp to always be there for my children and their children.

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