Parenting & Summer Camp
Parenting is most definitely the hardest job out there. It requires patience, empathy, organization, leadership, conflict resolution, and time…lots and lots of time. Parenting involves a physical and emotional endurance that makes us stronger and wiser. It’s a job that includes both challenging moments, and times of great joy and happiness. Parenting is 24/7!
The goal of any parent is to raise children who are kind, confidence, resilient, successful and happy. With the help of great teachers and coaches, we are not alone in our parenting journey, but at the end of the day, it is our job to reinforce the lessons being taught and to make sure our children are well taken care of. We provide meals, clean clothes, check homework, and schedule appointments. We get our kids to practices, games, lessons, parties, and even volunteer our time at school. As stated before…it’s a full-time job that we take on with love and commitment.
The exception is when we give our children the gift of sleepaway camp. This may be the only extended period of time when we hand over this great responsibility to people outside of our immediate family. We give up our parental role for 3-6 weeks every summer to give our children the opportunity of a lifetime. It’s the one time we put our trust and faith in others to do our job and do it well. And “do it well” is exactly what camp does.
Camp gives our children a chance to grow, and allows us the same opportunity. We let go of the reins and allow trained camp counselors to act as surrogate parents. Counselors who take over where we left off to guide and encourage our children to believe in themselves and do their best. They take on the responsibilities of making sure campers are eating healthy meals, brushing their teeth, showering (with soap), developing friendships, taking on new challenges, and of course having fun and feeling happy. It’s a very powerful time for young people to grow and mature, outside of the home and away from a parent’s watchful eye. It’s also a very powerful time for parents, who are so accustom to taking care of others and having little time for themselves. Many parents say that the transition from constant parenting to being child free is strange at first, but quite liberating at the same time. There is no doubt we miss our children more than words can say, and keep a constant watch on the camp web site to see the latest activities and events they are enjoying. But knowing they are well taken care of and having a wonderful time, makes their absence much easier. And with fewer meals to prepare, less laundry to do, little clean up around the house, and no carpools to drive, we can appreciate how hard we work throughout the year, and enjoy our camp time too.