– Written By Kim Graydon, Associate Director Development at Glen Bernard Camp
Do you wonder how your child will survive without you? Like me, do you over instruct your children? I think I might be admitting that I’m a helicopter parent. Joking aside, I have been curing myself of it for a long time by sending my children away to camp. Don’t be fooled. I have relapses. For example getting them ready to leave. I get to make lists, buy the right shampoo, arrange batteries, stamp self addressed envelopes so there is NO excuse not to write home (btw, I still don’t get a letter), wash sleeping bags, fold clothes and help pack their trunks. But as soon as the kids step on to the bus, they are welcomed into their summer world by staff with open arms. And not a moment too soon for my kiddos.
- They learn to interact successfully with others
- They master skills, which in turn makes them feel good about themselves
- They try new things
- They become mentors to others
As Moms, what will be your experience if/when your child goes off to overnight camp? I noticed there was a welcome change in the family dynamic. My youngest became the oldest and it felt like I was getting a well deserved parenting break! Instead of emailing or texting, I wrote a weekly letter about what was happening at home (translation – nothing exciting) and asked about the things they were doing (being careful not to say “I miss you” too much – good pointer from a camp pro – helps the kids to NOT be homesick). I went out with my friends! I cleaned out my basement. I cooked glorious dinners full of gourmet ingredients! The 3 weeks my daughters were at camp was over before I knew it.
At camp, I know my kids are growing as people, learning, having fun and are being well looked after. Since I am telling the truth here, I may as well admit that I enjoy the time my kids are at camp. One thing is for sure, admitting that doesn’t make me a bad Mom, it makes me a GREAT Mom. I have seen with my own eyes, that it takes a village to raise a child and I choose the camp village to help me along.