The clothes have been washed (and washed again). The sleeping bag has been aired out. The stories have been told – many of them, anyway.
Right now, camp takes a back seat to the new school year. It’s a little early to think about next year. But now – with a little distance – is the perfect time to figure out how successful your son or daughter’s summer camp experience was and ask a lot of questions.
Does your child talk about friends and counselors? That’s a sure sign of a great summer. Peers and young adults have an enormous influence on a camp environment – and on each other.
What skills did your child gain, develop or improve? Is he hitting a tennis ball with a little more power than just a few months ago? Did she ask you to go swimming every day until school began? Has your son shown a new interest in drama? Does your daughter now want to write for the school newspaper?
Can you see new confidence in your child? Does she walk taller? Did he tackle tasks he once shied away from? One mother said, “I almost didn’t recognize my son after camp. It wasn’t that he grew – although he did. It was just the way he carried himself. The change in just a few weeks was incredible.”
Can you sense a spirit of independence? Whether spending a summer away from home for the first time, or having to figure things out without Mom and Dad’s help, youngsters enjoy a level of independence at camp that’s tough to attain at home. Kids still need their parents, of course – but the feel good knowing they can handle certain situations on their own.
Do they make better choices? The camp day is filled with decisions. If you detect a new (and improved) level of decision-making, camp may be part of the reason.
Does your child put things away on his own now? Nah. He did at camp – but old habits die hard.