One of the most popular questions we get in our camp office is:
“What will my kids gain from their time at camp?”
Our answers always touch on ideas such as independence, resilience, socialization, new experiences, or lasting friendships. We could go on for hours. And, if you talked to any of the parents of kids who have attended camp before, they could too.
The question we don’t generally hear (because let’s face it, parents are awesome, selfless people) but maybe interesting to consider is “what do the parents of campers get out of their child’s time at camp?”
All parents want the best for their children and watching them mature, learn new skills, experience great feats, and make new friends can be just as rewarding for parents as is for campers. Many camp parents tell us that their camper comes home standing a little taller or being a little more helpful. All of sudden making their beds or cleaning up after a meal doesn’t seem like quite as big of a task.
New camp parents often speak about how they feel guilty for “sending their child away for 2 or 4 weeks” or “for having fun with their friends, in a kid-free environment.”
We understand. But, we are here to say – don’t feel guilty! Instead of thinking you are “sending them away to camp” think instead that you are “giving them camp”. The best gifts in life are the ones that you can take with you wherever you are. The ones that never seem to go out of style. The ones that no matter how old you are, you can think back to exactly what you were doing when you were given that gift.
Camp is a gift that you can literally never lose. The value in that feeling you will have as a parent when you realize you have just offered your kids something to last a lifetime is incalculable.
Parents work hard to provide the best for their children and when they give them the gift of camp, they hope their hard-earned money is going towards a great cause. We talk a lot about how to prepare kids for camp but how much do we talk about how to prepare as a parent?
So parents! Don’t feel bad for taking a vacation, relaxing, getting a massage, or just sleeping in for a week straight. You deserve it! And while you are doing all those wonderful things, you can rest assured that your child is in great hands and having an experience that they will be proud to share with you when they get home!