Why Summer Overnight Camp Rocks

I think kids need time away from their parents (and certainly the reciprocal).  Summer camp is the perfect opportunity to give your kids a break from you breathing down their necks.  They need experiences that are things that would make us cringe, if we knew about them.  They need to organize midnight kitchen raids to score brownies leftover from dinner, bury their counselors’ bedding in the lakefront beach and, at least in the case of boys, sing songs about tacos that poop.  Examples off the top of my head of course.

While I am all for self-directed playtime (and lots of it), sleep-away camp offers the unique opportunity for activities run by . . . other kids.  Well, ok, maybe not children, but teens and college kids.  Who are young enough to still remember and understand what fun really is.  Who do you think taught my son the song about the pooping taco?  And believe me, much to his delight, his teen-age male counselors were not nagging him to shower.  At. All.

The independence they gain is invaluable.  There are no kid gloves at camp (or, at least at the camp my son goes to).  Can’t make your bed?  You’ll just sleep with your sleeping bag.  Don’t like what’s for lunch?  There’s always the candy bar you saved from canteen.  Kids that could barely tie their shoes are putting up their own tents and swimming in a questionably murky lake and loving it.  Sadly for my son, the excitement with which he shared his mastery of cooking eggs over a campfire with one arm (he broke the other one 4 weeks ago) was tempered by the sudden realization that he might have to make breakfast at home now.

I like mine over easy on toast.  Just in case he’s reading this.


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One Response to “Why Summer Overnight Camp Rocks”

  1. beanie Says:

    Ha! I had both girls away at church camp this year, and when I stopped in (because one of them needed a refil on medications), they were engaged in swimming in the “mud pit” a 3-foot-deep by 20-feet across hole filled with the muddiest water I’d even seen. They’d been zip-lining into it. I’ve never seen children so dirty in my life. Ever.

    Would I let them do that at home? Not a chance. But there? I just bought an extra bottle of laundry bleach on my way home.

    I’m with you: Hooray for summer camp!

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