One of the best aspects of Halloween is the fact that it allows kids to get in touch with their silly side. For one day a year, there is no outfit too outlandish or absurd to be worn in public – children and teens are encouraged to get in touch with their zany side, and they are able to express themselves through their choice of costume. As somebody who has spent quite a bit of time in and around theatre, I can personally attest to the power that a costume can have on persona – there is a clear psychological link to the way we feel and the way we are dressed. And you don’t need to be a seasoned actor to appreciate this connection – if you’ve ever attended a black tie affair, you will recognize the transformative power of wearing something outside your ordinary wardrobe. And so, while Halloween may only fall once a year in October, and while your children or teens may not be attending many black tie weddings, the opportunities that camp provides to dress up in whacky attire allows kids to truly act like kids, and this is one of the greatest opportunities that camp provides.
At camp, there are often a variety of days that will be set aside for kids to wear costumes. Whether it’s a camp carnival or other special event, or an opportunity to wear red, white & blue on Independence Day, there are several days each summer where kids are encouraged to step outside the bounds of their usual camp wardrobe, and wear something that is simply silly. And what happens when they do this? Quite simply, they start acting silly as well. Kids in costume get to experience the uninhibited joy that comes from knowing you’re doing something ridiculous, and being supported and joined by your closest friends.
One reason that camp is such an effective place for kids to experience the joy of dressing and acting zanily is because, by and large, camp is an accepting place free of judgment. If wearing a costume was considered “uncool”, or if only certain specific types of costumes were accepted, these opportunities to dress up could potentially create situations where certain campers could be ostracized. In fact, this is often times what happens at schools, where Halloween costumes are just one more factor that determine the social hierarchy. However, because the spirit of camp is to wholeheartedly embrace the ridiculousness of costuming – and because Maine Camp Experience directors are dedicated to creating accepting environments for their campers – opportunities to dress up at camp come without this excess baggage. At camp, counselors and campers alike are encouraged to let their guard down and embrace the ridiculousness of dressing up (or dressing down). The result? A whole lot of laughter, and memories that will last a lifetime.
Talk to Laurie, our Maine Campcierge™, about choosing the right camp for your child and what to do in Maine.