Do you have a family plan?
Do you regularly evaluate your family life and what your desired outcomes are for when your offspring grow up and fly? Are you intentional about accomplishing your desires for your kids while they are under your roof even if it’s not convenient?
Don’t just live in the today. Think about the tomorrow and the day after. What do you see for your family in five years? Make a plan and work to bring your dreams to fruition.
It’s interesting how the word CAMP has been a part of our family plan the past few years. Our RV camping trip was definitely a part of our family game plan. We knew it was something we really wanted to do and we did everything that we had to do to make it happen. Checked that off.
Next on the family agenda is to send the kids off to a month long sleep away Christian sports camp.
Acquaintances ask, you spent so much time together that you’re sick of them and want to ship them off and take a break? Um, not exactly. Who doesn’t want a couple nights away from taking care of the kids to rest and regroup? Everybody needs that. Sending our kids away to camp has actually been a part of our family plan for years and is not something that we just decided spur of the moment to do because we are tired of them.
Plus, anyone who sends their kids to camp knows it’s quite expensive and a lot of work. Have you ever labeled 64 pair of underwear with a sharpie? Yep- it would be a lot easier to send them to the Grandparents, who requested to have them this summer, than send them to this camp. But, we’re not looking for easy. We’re not looking for convenience. We’re looking for impact.
I never knew kids that went away to camp growing up. I went overnight once to Little Hoosier Camp and my husband didn’t last long at his hockey camp a few miles from his home in Providence as a child. As parents with minimal experience in this realm, we would’ve never even thought about sending the kids off to a sleep away camp for a month, if it weren’t for observing some dear friends who believe in summer camp as part of their family plan.
Trust me, this camp thing feels way tougher to me than spending six months living in an RV with my family. As parents, we don’t even really allow our kids to go on sleepovers and keep them close to home most days. We’re not completely comfortable with the idea of being apart for four weeks but feel it’s important, for all of us, so therefore we’re making it happen and here’s why..…
5 REASONS WHY WE ARE SENDING OUR KIDS OFF TO SUMMER CAMP
1. Test their intrinsic motivation
Camp provides time for the kids to figure out how they want to spend their time, without Mom or Dad hovering over them. We spend so much of our family time shuttling our kids to their programmed sports and activities that there literally is no time for them to think of what they really want to be doing. The darn youth sports seasons are so long now that unfortunately most days it’s like going to a job for them. Camp will let them be free to choose whatever feels fun to them in the moment. You gotta love that.
2. Gain self confidence
Our kids are pretty nervous about this new experience and I have to say the same goes for us as parents. We want our foursome out of their comfort zone though. We want them to learn resilience and independence away from us in a safe setting. What better time to do that than now? We are separating the triplets in separate cabins and they aren’t happy about that. At home they share a bedroom and love their time together. At least they will meet up at activities, where daughter dear is truly on her own at a different camp 45 minutes around the same lake as her brothers.
3. A Month with No technology
Have kids? Then most likely you have the technology that goes along with them these days. Even though ours are still living without cell phones, they do have IPADS and boy do they love starting every summer day with those things. Games and Instagram fill every quiet minute they have. How nice will it be to have a big group of kids together playing outdoors without any gadgets in hand! Perhaps they will learn skills to conversate in person. This piece is huge and I feel camp will be more and more necessary for kids as the years pass.
4. Spend time in the Great Outdoors
Let’s be honest Arizona is nowhere you want to spend your summer. Our July through September is equivalent to winter in Chicago. You just bear it, but you definitely don’t want to spend much time outside. (Although, there’s no shoveling snow in 115 degree heat, so I still prefer the high temps over low extremes!) The only outdoor playtime for kids here is in the pool. Camp will give them the ability to enjoy lake time activities as well as sports and other outdoor fun that they wouldn’t get to do here.
5. Exposure to fun and young mentorship
Living without any family nearby, we feel our kids aren’t growing up with regular unconditional mentors on a regular basis. Yes, they feel very close to their grandparents, some aunts and uncles who make the effort and local friends we see often. But, to live in a cabin with college students who have chosen to spend their summer with them, I believe will be a really great experience for our kids.
Is sending your kids off to summer camp a part of your family plan? Here’s to an amazing summer and to all of us learning and growing ourselves through the experiences we choose!