What are you planning for your children this summer to meet your parenting goals?
If you want your kids to grow into capable, responsible, independent, caring, resilient and confident adults, then sleepaway summer camp is something you may want to consider. Camp North Star in Maine could be a strong consideration if your child loves outdoors activities, watersports and making new friends.
The word CAMP has been a part of our family plan the past several years. Our epic RV camping trip was a part of our family game plan in 2014.
Next on the family agenda is to send the kids off to a month-long sleep-away summer camp.
“You spent so much time together that youâ€™re sick of them and want to ship them off and take a break? Um, not exactly. Who doesnâ€™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 itâ€™s quite expensive and a lot of work. Have you ever labeled 64 pairs 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, weâ€™re not looking for easy. Weâ€™re not looking for convenience. Weâ€™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 didnâ€™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 wouldâ€™ve never even thought about sending the kids off to a sleep-away camp for a month, if it werenâ€™t for observing some dear friends who believe in summer camp as part of their family plan.
Trust me, sending my kids off to summer camp feels way tougher to me than spending six months living in an RV with my family.
As parents, we donâ€™t even really allow our kids to go to sleepovers and keep them close to home most days. Weâ€™re not completely comfortable with the idea of being apart for four weeks but feel itâ€™s important, for all of us, so weâ€™re making it happen and hereâ€™s why..â€¦
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.
Their youth sports seasons are so long now that unfortunately most days itâ€™s like going to a job for them. The camp will let them be free to choose whatever feels fun to them at the moment. You gotta love the freedom of that.
2. Gain Self-Confidence
Our kids are nervous about this new experience and I have to say the same goes for us. My husband and I 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 which they arenâ€™t happy about. At home, they share a bedroom and enjoy being 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 lake from her brothers.
3. A Month with No Technology
This alone is a major reason to send the kids off to camp. Even though ours are still living without cell phones, they do have IPADS and boy do they love starting every summer day with them. Games and Instagram fill every quiet minute they have.
How wonderful it will be to have a group of kids together playing outdoors without any gadgets in hand. Perhaps they will learn skills to conversate in person. We have to mindfully provide our children with opportunities to live without technology in order to gain these important lifelong skills.
4. Spend Time in the Great Outdoors
Letâ€™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 donâ€™t want to spend much time outside. The only outdoor playtime for kids here is in the swimming pool. Camp will give them the ability to enjoy activities on the lake as well as sports and other outdoor fun that they wouldnâ€™t get to do here.
5. Exposure to New Friends and Mentorship
Living without any family nearby, we have to seek out positive mentorship for our kids. Meeting people from a totally different region than where they are growing up is a benefit. They will also get to live under the mentorship of Christian college students who have chosen to spend their summer with them.
Is sending your kids off to summer camp a part of your family plan?