I know you are behind that pile of laundry. I know the kids just got back from camp and you have only a few days to get them into school mode. But….
What a summer!!
Can you faintly remember the days of not making lunches? Of not rushing everyone out of the house with backpacks packed, homework complete, and uniforms on? Rushing out the door with your necessaries…. whether it be brief case, grocery list or workout clothes?
Well, take a deep breath and remember the benefits of summer as you begin to shift into school time mode. You sent your kids for at least the following 5 reasons. Keep it going all year long….
1. Independence: You send your kids to camp so they can learn to be independent. Test what they have learned… Let them pack their own backpacks, make their own beds and deal with the consequences if they don’t follow through. You can even make a game out of it to see how long the “feeling” lasts.
2. Developing New Relationships: When they first arrive at camp, they must learn to engage, get along with and team build with a new set of friends, counselors and bunkmates. Those same skills are vital for their new classroom on the first day of school. You may want to take the time before school starts to revisit lessons learned in camp and talk about how it will transfer to the first day of class.
3. Identity Development: At camp, your child gets to reinvent and/or experiment with the type of person they want to be. They can leave behind the traits that were not successful and bring home and continue to develop the traits that were successful. What were these developments? Did your child learn how to speak up when something wasn’t right? Did they learn how to be more of a team player and support the weaker member of the group? What positive attributes can they bring home?
4. Skill Development: Whether this was the summer of the basketball lay up, the perfect serve or hip hop stardom, new skills were developed at camp. And I’m not talking about the skill of being a better friend. Your child should have learned something new at camp that builds their “competency” in some area. There are so many after school programs and/or in school clubs that will allow your child to take it a step further. Keep the growth going.
5. Cultural Identity: When your child goes away to camp, there is some kind of common bond. Whether it be religious or activity based, family or tight friendships, there is a strong camp culture that develops. Every camp has their credo ie as with one camp I visited this summer: ”Respect, Responsibility, Resilience, Reasonable Risk and Reaching Out”. This is the environment in which your children spent their summer. Bring it home and develop your own.
Please share lessons learned and how you will be transferring camp lessons to school time activities. You can write to Karen@CampExperts.com and we will start the dialogue.
And if you have not yet made the leap to sending your kids to sleepaway camp, think about it now. I know it feels early but now is the time to research full summer camping before you get closed out. It’s crazy yes!!! But that is reality.
Good luck with the start of the new school year….