If you’ve looked at your calendar lately, you know that camp is less than 30 days away! Whether you are a parent or a camper, being separated for an extended period of time can be tough – so why do we do it? It’s an excellent question, one with a whole host of excellent answers, but I thought we’d break it down into a few main points. So as we get ready to start yet another summer camp season in glorious Maine, here are Five Reasons The Separation Of Summer Camp Is Good For Us – All Of Us:
When campers separate from their parents for the summer, the whole process helps young people build resilience and get experiences they need to build a wider range of coping strategies. They develop new relationships with both other campers and adults who aren’t their parents (which is empowering in its own rite); camp helps them feel in control of their lives; and navigating all these new situations alone helps build confidence and a feeling of self efficacy. In short, give us a new camper and we’ll give you a more resilient young person.
2. What We Learn About Ourselves
For campers, the opportunity to take chances (and even fail) in a safe environment is the opportunity to learn about who they are and what they are made of. If it weren’t for camp, many kids wouldn’t have or take the chance to do a ropes course, sail on the open water, or get on the back of a horse. And regardless of what it is, chances are camp will give a child the opportunity to find something to be proud of that they can do well.
And for parents, of course, the opportunity to be away from our children offers the opportunity to see that we can let go, that they will be ok, and that we will be ok.
3. Absence Makes The Heart Grow …
To be away from the people you love only makes you appreciate them more. For campers, the distance and perspective can make them appreciate their families more than they ever have – not only that their family has given them the gift of this time, but whatever it is that makes their family unique and lovable. And for parents, being separated from the kids for a summer is a reminder that in between all the shuttling back and forth to activities, the school projects, and the packed lunches, that there is a seriously cool person in there that … well, you miss. It’s the distance that lets us see.
At camp, there are tons of people around to help if you need it, but when it comes to things like taking care of hygiene, cleaning up after themselves, eating, and sleeping … campers have a lot of independence. This is on purpose. Without their parents there to guide them, kids learn to be self-reliant, making decisions without the guidance of parents or teachers. In fact, when we asked our Maine Camp Experience parents what they felt the benefits of camp were, so many of them responded that their kids came home making their own beds, willing to eat different foods, and generally being more self sufficient. It’s something that only time away from the nest can give!
5. Everyone Gets A Chance To Unplug
Parents and campers alike need a chance to unplug, whether it’s from the responsibilities of parenting, or the constant activities and technologies that surround us. When we have time to ourselves away from each other, everyone gets a chance to take a breather, get outside, take care of themselves, and recharge. In a day and age when everything is on a screen and needs to happen five minutes ago, it is a refreshing change of pace, and a necessary way for everyone to get what they need.
What is your favorite part of separating for the summer? Come on, be honest. Can you tell us in three words? Here’s ours: Peace And Quiet.
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 Campcierge™ 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.