Let’s face it; being an awesome parent is tough. We aspire to provide our children with everything they need and when appropriate want, while having it all be as close to the best as we can afford.
It starts prenatal with taking the right vitamins, eating healthy and playing classical music to our growing tummies. We then search for the best health care providers. We partner with friends, teachers, neighbors, family members and often, rely on our instincts, to understand and provide what is best for our children. We wonder about the overall state of our planet.
We ask ourselves, "Are we doing enough to provide the right education for what our children will need as adults? Will our children grow up to be healthy, well-rounded, productive and fulfilled adults?" All the while worrying that we don’t have enough money to do it right. It is a huge job, and we are constantly wondering if we are good parents.
But how do we measure if we have made the right decisions for our children? We don’t want to wait until they are adults to reflect on the decisions we are making for them. Rather we want to know in the moment that we are giving our children the best experiences and opportunities available. One way we can receive this feedback is by engaging those we partner with in providing positive experiences for our children.
My entire life journey, from my days as a camper, as a camp staffer, as a social worker, and now as a camp owner and parent of a camper, continues to validate my belief that the right summer camp experience is one of the very best things we can provide our children. Camp is an environment that has it all; a family atmosphere, a place to take safe risks, tradition, friendship, promotion of a healthy and active lifestyle, peer conflict resolution, positive role models, and exposure to a large variety of activities. When the right camp is chosen, amazing feedback is provided for parents.
In the past few years, the American Camp Association has launched the “Because of Camp” campaign. Lisa Loeb, Kerri Strug and Blair Underwood as well as other actors, athletes and celebrities have each shared how their lives have changed Because of Camp.
Did you know that Grammy nominated singer/songwriter Lisa Loeb learned how to play the guitar at camp? This inspired me to reach out to people in our Summer Trails Day Camp community. Below is a compilation explaining the benefits of camp in the words of campers and staff who have been provided the opportunity to participate in the camp experience.
At Camp : *I met my best friend, I learned how to swim, I have a fun summer job to return to every year, I met my spouse, I was encouraged to take healthy risks and try new things, I discovered a passion for performing arts, I decided I wanted to become a teacher, I learned the meaning of work ethic, I can work with people of all ages, I am an awesome ping pong player, I realized how much I love working with children, I have learned tolerance, I learned how to be a true team player, I learned how it feels to make somebody’s day better with just a smile, I love the energy and togetherness at camp, I learned it is okay to not know all of the answers all of the time, I found a place that I can sing and dance my heart out with all my friends and feel great about myself, I found a place that makes me feel proud when I work with a child to overcome a fear, I learned how to be a responsible leader, I have amazing childhood memories, I have learned how to maintain friendships over time and distance, I have been able to watch my own children’s growth and development, I have a creative outlet, I have found balance in my life, I have developed strong bonds, I have been taught patience, I am proud of who I am, I get to laugh and play everyday, I learned that turtles like to eat cheese puffs, I feel forever young, I have been challenged to discover what I am capable of, I can make a mean sand castle, I am a leader, I want to give back to others, I have learned acceptance, I have learned about bugs, I have met and learned from professional athletes such as Howard Johnson, I know that I am a good role model, I can be silly, I have realized my personal dreams, I feel empowered, I have gained self-esteem and confidence, I became the person I am today. *
There is no better validation to the decisions we make for our child than the comments above. Want to be an awesome parent? Choose camp.