Many day camps begin their summer session today, and it is exhilarating!!! For the past 17 years (holy crap I’m old) this has been one of my favorite days of the year. Even once I “left” camp (physically that is) – I still thought of this day as the official beginning of summer. You’ll find me looking at the clock thinking “oh, the campers are swimming now!” or “its time for afternoon lineup” … (yes, I may need professional help ) The point is that camp has always been part of who I am and no doubt, who I always will be.
What’s So great About Camp?
I suppose not everyone has great camp experiences. The first time I went to overnight camp, my experience was so-so. Yes, I loved the sports, swimming, awesome woodworking, and the most amazing canteen ever, but the girls were snobby – they all knew each other for eons and I was the “new kid,” but I still had fun.
So What Is so great about camp? And More Importantly – what is so AUSPICIOUS about this day?
It’s quite simple.
Camp can do what NO other educational system can do.
During the summer months, the rigidity of school, homework, tests does not exist. Summer is carefree and while day camp is structured and has rules it’s synonymous with FUN.
The entire goal of summer camp is FUN. What could go wrong about that??!!!
In this kind of environment – when you’re enjoying, having fun, living it up – a kid can truly become alive. During the year, children are demanded to sit still, listen to rules and dress in strict uniforms (in some schools). During camp, they are free to run, use their boundless energy and are “free.” With this freedom the juices begin to flow!!! Suddenly you find a camper who is a great actress in the color war skits. Or she has a great voice in the camp songs. Maybe the camper builds beautiful arts n crafts with meticulous drawings. Or he shines as the star athlete and wins the sports competition for his team. Or — in my case — maybe that camper suddenly finds out that she has a knack for writing camp newsletters and becomes a writer
Summer camp means realizing the potential. And it’s not a forced thing. You won’t find on a child’s registration form: “my child needs to explore her sports talents.” Nope – these things come out organically. This is why it happens so often.
It is also bound to happen that special relationships form. There is no “strict, mean” teachers – but loving counselors. You would never sit on your teachers lap (I hope not! ) but a camper will always sit close with their counselors during a bonfire singing songs. What child wouldn’t feel the love and individual attention that doesn’t always exist during the school year?
Yes, there is something quite magical about camp. You cant buy it in a store, or order it on Amazon – it can only be experienced.
So I guess its safe to say that for the next 17 years, I’ll still be looking at the clock thinking “oh, time for first activity!”
For those of you who are involved in camp – have a great summer session. And for those of you who are not involved in camp – well, what are you waiting for? Go to the beach !!!