Is the single most important thing about camp the fact that the child’s parents are not there? I’m sure for most campers this at least makes their top five. So why is it becoming so increasingly difficult for parents to allow their child time away from their side? There are parts of me that can see where parents are coming from on this one – it’s no secret that a child is a parent’s most prized possession, and so they should be. But on the other hand (the hand of me that has worked as a camp counselor for five years) I can see the benefits that children receive from this time spent away from parents at camp.
For the past thirty years, Michael G. Thompson has consulted to independent and public schools throughout the United States. This work has given him a very unique view of the concerns and preoccupations of loving, dedicated, but often very anxious parents. “Educators tell me that they are seeing a growing minority of parents who are having difficulty allowing their children to go away from them.” Michael reports that he has heard very similar anecdotes from camp directors – parents calling every day suffering from severe ‘child-sickness’ even though their children are obviously thriving at camp. This discovery has inspired Michael to write ‘Homesick and Happy – How Time Away From Parents Can Help a Child Grow’; an essential read for those parents who are struggling to allow their child those times away from their side – those times away that in my opinion are so critical to the positive development of a child’s social skills.
Here at Camp Foley, it is our philosophy to partner with parents every step of the way – it is our promise to work closely with parents to develop confident, responsible, and respectful youth. So please, if you have any concerns at all while your child is with us, let us know. We will do all we can to help. And if my experience here has taught me anything, it is that your child will return home after camp with stronger personal skills, increased confidence, and heightened respect for themselves and others.
– Ricky Searson, Assistant Director, Camp Foley.