I have several friends who never went to sleepaway camp, never experiencing what it means to be a camper.
My friends’ children, and their children’s friends, are reaching the age when many are leaving day camp behind, and starting to embark on sleepaway camp adventures. My friends who never attended sleepaway camp have been struggling with this decision. “Why?” they ask. “Why should I send my kid away for the summer? It seems crazy! Why would I spend so much money and ship them off to a state hours away?”
Very honestly, I tell them this:
Imagine sending your child to a real life picturesque place where they are miles away from everyone and everything they know. A place where they are not judged, where they can let their hair down and just be themselves. It doesn’t matter what grades they earned at school, where they live, who their parents are, where they bought their clothes or what kind of car their parents drive. The pressures of the outside world are put on a shelf for the summer, and your child will be given the freedom to thrive in a safe environment.
They will have a rhythm to their days, a perfectly balanced schedule full of incredible activities. Water skiing, tennis, gaga, basketball, baseball or softball, soccer, drama and dance are some of the basics. But the fundamentals of the activities are about teamwork and life lessons, self-esteem and facing challenges that will in turn help your child develop and prosper (preparing them cumulatively for their next stages in life).
They will go on trips. They will build memories on the way. They will create friendships that will mature over time and turn out to be everlasting. Their counselors will be their role models; their bunkmates will be their family. They will try foods they’ve never eaten, listen to music they’ve never heard and play games they’ve never dabbled in. They will share a bond with camp that is so deep and rooted in their souls that it will remain with them forever.
So, why send them?
You are giving them a gift that will last a lifetime. You are giving them a gift of experiences, friends, personal growth, music and memories. A gift so special and sacred I would be floored if they did not thank you one day (or every day). I know my son has, and he has only been to sleepaway camp one summer! He has experienced the picturesque place in Maine where the lakes are exquisite, the trips are unimaginable, the camps are lush and the traditions are forevermore.
Talk to Laurie, our Maine Campcierge®, about choosing the right camp for your child and what to do in Maine.