By Laurie, the Campcierge™
To understand Mister Rogers is to understand and appreciate yourself and the world around you. This past holiday weekend, my family saw the movie “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.” How you see Fred Rogers – whether as a humanitarian and beloved child development expert, or as a hokey TV personality – may be influenced by what you bring to it.
Unfortunately, my kids didn’t like the movie so much. They didn’t have the patience to enjoy the movie at its intended pace as it delivered messages of connection, gratitude, forgiveness, helping others, and positive ways to deal with your feelings. I’m not sure if that’s to be attributed to their current ages or the current day and age – probably a little of both.
While I can understand that they would think the story told in the movie was a little slow and/or dark at times, I could recognize that it was trying to convey the importance of being fully present, and for having appreciation and empathy (all perfectly timed for Thanksgiving).
When I was growing up, it seemed easier to be naturally present. We had family dinner every night at 6:30 and I had, at most, half of the after-school activities most kids have today. Even something as simple as needing an item meant having to take a ride to the store and communicating with a parent (instead of a two-second click online from your room to make a purchase). We also had time. Time to ride bikes around the neighborhood. Time to play outdoor games like Spud and Wiffle ball. Time to make up shows (dance, gymnastics, fashion, etc.). Time to walk in the woods with friends or push each other on a tire swing over a brook. Time to become independent, explore, figure stuff out, and to help ourselves and help each other.
To kids today, Mister Rogers and his ways may seem strange or too slow and outdated. With easy access to multimedia content, today’s pace seems quicker. Also, kids may not need to connect with others as much to be entertained since they have access to a million shows, movies and videos, social media, and music and video games – all on demand and at their fingertips. Of course, not all the technology and modern conveniences are bad – most are pretty awesome – and some unite and connect friends like FaceTime and TikToks.
However, I often think about how fast life is going and how I’d like to slow down time. I’d like more quality time with my kids where we’re away from things to buy and in places where we can hang with each other in nature. I do this when I can, and it also makes me happy that they have overnight camp where they unplug for seven weeks each summer. At their Maine Camp Experience camp, they become part of something greater than themselves. They get to connect with nature and friends. They learn to live with and help others. They make choices. They navigate social situations. They develop their social and emotional intelligence, and lots more. In these ways, like Mister Rogers would encourage, they’re living in the moment, making connections, and taking the time to better understand themselves and the world around them.
Maine Camp Experience Resources & Tools
Looking for the perfect Maine camp for your child? Try out our helpful tool where you can select a camp by choosing: type of camp (girls, boys or coed) and session length (1-8 weeks). It helps to narrow down a few camps to a manageable list that includes rates. Then you can research these camps in more depth.
Next, be sure to contact our Maine Camp Guide, Laurie to discuss these camps as well as for free, year-round advice and assistance on choosing a great Maine summer camp for your child.
Talk to Laurie, our Maine Campcierge™, about choosing the right camp for your child and what to do in Maine.