Traditions and Rituals

The holidays are upon us, and so is the time to follow family customs and traditions as we celebrate and enjoy this time of year.  It may be making latkes for Chanukah, decorating the tree for Christmas, going ice skating in Central Park, or watching the ball drop on New Year’s Eve….whatever the event, having traditions creates a foundation of strong family

bonds and a lifetime of memories. And traditions go way beyond holiday celebrations; anything you do to create routine will benefit your family.  Studies show that routines, rituals and traditions are good for peoples physical and mental well being.  Family rituals give children a sense of belonging, enhance identity, and build powerful interpersonal connections.

“Children love rituals”, says Martin V. Cohen, Ph. D., associate director of the Marital and Family Therapy Clinic at New York Hospital – Cornell Medical Center.  “Children find a certain security and solace in something that gives a sense of belonging and comfort.  Kids find rituals fascinating – artistically, spiritually, and emotionally”.

Traditions that are established early on in life will most likely be remembered and carried on through the generations.  These rituals don’t have to be time-consuming or expensive to have a great impact, just as long as they are enjoyable, meaningful and bond the family together.  Children will remember and look forward to family events like going pumpkin picking every Fall, Thanksgiving dinner at grandma’s house, family vacations, or simply making pancakes with dad every Sunday morning.

And when it comes to creating traditions, there is no place like camp.  Summer camp is chock-full of special traditions that campers and staff look forward to all year, and are remembered for a lifetime.    The Iroquois Springs traditions give us a sense of belonging because we enjoy them together as a camp family.  The Order of Blue & Gold, Fuzzies at evening line-up, Smores around the campfire, Sing, Project Morry Swim-A-Thon, Extreme Canteen, Boys Football Tailgate, Rope Burn, July 4th Fireworks, the Camp Reunion….all of these events (just to name a few) are camp traditions that mean so much to our camp family.  They bond us and keep us connected both at camp and throughout the year.

 Think about the rituals you have with your family, and know that even the simplest of routines brings something positive and beneficial to your lives.  A tradition is anything you look forward to as a family.  It’s a commitment to one another to spend time together doing something enjoyable, that will be remembered for a lifetime.  Why not start a new tradition this holiday season…it may be something that continues on for to generations to come.  Happy Holidays!!!