By Susan Pecker
Editor’s Note: A prominent local camp consultant (and Chappaqua mom) shares with us the joys of sleepaway camp.
10. Disney Was Not Joking. Michael D. Eisner, former CEO of Disney, shares that “camp is a guide to growing up, learning to rely on yourself as you work as a team, developing tools for leadership, competing to win but finding pride and growth in defeat.” That’s not Mickey Mouse stuff!
9. Me, Myself and I. Sleepaway camp is the one place a child can make decisions and problem-solve in a safe, caring environment without parents or teachers. At camp, children learn to manage conflicts and different personalities. Campers come home with increased confidence and a greater sense of independence.
8. All in the Family. While joining together in cleaning their bunk, painting scenery or playing in tournaments, campers become part of a new team of friends and counselors (from all over the country and world) who become a family reuniting year after year.
7. A Camp for a Child. Each child is unique. Some sparkle when playing soccer or performing on stage while others yearn to be the next best baker. There is a camp for each child to explore various interests.
6. The Best Part of the Day. Sleeping next to their best buddies, campers spend “flashlight time” sharing the day’s accomplishments, funniest moments and stories. Late night talks become one of the most bonding moments of camp.
5. Bragging Rights. Sleepaway camp exposes children to activities that are new and unique. Camp is a motivating place for children to grow and succeed–whether it’s getting up on water-skis for the first time, cheering a Color War song or writing for the camp newsletter.
4. Hands Are Not Just for Texting and Typing. At camp, children will rest their fingers from cell phones and computer keyboards. Campers’ fingers return to no-tech activities such as writing letters, whittling a wood bench and weaving a potholder.
3. Camp Is Not Just for the Camper. While their children are having fun-filled, action packed days, parents get a reprieve from the fast paced daily routines of packing lunches, carpooling and laundry. Sending a child away for a few weeks allows couples to renew, rediscover and recharge their relationship.
2. What They Enjoy. Without the pressure of homework and tests, campers discover what activities–not subjects–they enjoy and have fun doing. No one grades fun!
1. Winter, Spring, Summer And Fall. Ask anyone who went away to camp. Camp friends are year- round, life -long friends. Camp creates memories that last a lifetime.
Susan Pecker is a camp advisor with The Camp Connection, a camp advisory service for over 25 years and a reliable source for all types of camps (specialty, traditional, weight-loss, self-empowerment, etc.), as well as pre-college programs, community service, language immersion, teen travel and internships.