Thursday, July 4, 2024

Why I...Send my kids to overnight camp


With our kids away at summer camp for the next two weeks, I thought I would write about why we send our kids to overnight camp.  It’s not for everyone, but it is for us.  People say they could never send their kids to camp for so long, but even though we miss them, I would never deprive them of the opportunity just because of that.  I know they are being well looked after and they will be back soon enough. 

So we like camp because: 

It builds independence - We do so much for our kids, probably too much, especially for Q since he’s the younger one and he complains more so we help him along.  When they are at camp, even though I have packed their clothes, they need to figure out what to actually wear each day, how to look after their things so they know where it all is.  They need to figure out what to eat, and how much. They have to talk to new people, grown ups and kids.  And they have to deal with their emotions.  I’m sure not every minute of every day is a joyful party, and they don’t get the relief of coming home at the end of each day, like during the school year.  If they are sad, mad, or lonely, they have to sort that out.

They get to try new things - The camp they attend has so many things and its so neat to see the different things they get to try - sailing, archery, paddling, pickleball, skateboarding, axe throwing.  There have been many times during the year when E casually says “oh, we did that at Muskoka Woods”. 

They get a real break from screens - as hard we try to limit screen time, ultimately they both spend too much time watching TV and playing video games.  This is a true break from screens for two weeks.  E even decided to leave his phone at home.  (Kids are allowed to bring their phones, although it is discouraged and they have time each day to play on it.) 

They have fun - Obviously! Who wouldn't want to play games, be outside, and sing songs all day long?! 

To create core memories - I went to summer camp as a kid and those are some core memories.  I remember the games we played, early morning swim, songs we sang, and crafts we made.  Even if they only go a few times, I know they are making memories that will stay with them for life.

Spend time away from us - Our kids love us and spending time with us, but it’s still a good opportunity to take a break from us and not have us getting after them for one reason or another.

And we get a break too! - We miss the kids but I am appreciating that I don’t need to rush home from work to pick someone up, get a meal ready or attend at practice or game.  Dave and I have plans to go out for dinner and golf. 

1 comment:

  1. Kids don’t really go to summer camps over here. Sport and rec organisations run them but they aren’t as popular as they are in other countries. Kids get to go on overnight camp as part of the school curriculum. I was lucky to get to go on church camps as a kid and they are part of my childhood memories. I had the best time! We slept on rickety old bunk beds with mattresses from the dawn of time. Went on bush camps led by inexperienced teens and got lost in the bush a few times. Such wonderful memories!!