I Don’t Get Why Parents Don’t Send Their Kids To Overnight Camp

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My daughter, after her second year at overnight camp, learned to shower on her own! Camp is the BEST place for kids to learn to shower on their own, because they have other kids to help them, and they can see other kids can do it, and they are super proud when they can do it too. My daughter also started eating foods that she would never eat at home, because other kids were eating it (although I must say I was a little taken aback when she came back and said her favorite food was now “ham,” since we are Jewish and all).

But at least she came back liking other foods than pasta with butter. When my child first attended overnight camp, she was very shy. Boy was I surprised when she got off the bus after a month and had a totally different personality. She was outgoing and funny and confident. I LOVED the new her. Camp did that to her.

I know a lot of parents who can’t wait to get rid of their children for a month (sometimes two months) so they don’t have to entertain or drive their kids all the time and drink mid-afternoon. But, let’s be honest. I annoy my daughter when she’s on the swing set in my backyard yelling, “Be careful! Don’t hurt yourself!” I hate always being so worried about her. While she’s at camp, I actually don’t worry at all. I know she’s in good hands. Let the counselors worry about her jumping off large rocks or waterskiing. Let them worry and stress about her getting to bed. At camp, “No news is good news,” and I haven’t heard anything.

So, again, I’m not worried. My daughter had a tough year at school and as I told her, “Camp is NOT school. You are supposed to have FUN. That’s all! FUN!” Children need fun and camp is fun. I’d love to say my daughter doesn’t get sick of spending all her time with me, but she’s growing up. She’d rather be around friends, acting silly, wearing whatever the hell what she wants, and meeting new friends that will last a lifetime (I still have friends from overnight camp from when I was nine!)

I know she has fun at camp because last year she sent me a postcard that said, “I have to write this to you. I’m having so much fun. Bye!” At first, I was hurt. But then I realized she was having so much fun that she didn’t even want to write a postcard and that made me happy. So, yes, you may not be ready and will miss your child, but trust me, your child will be too busy to miss you. Overnight camp is not about you. It’s about children and the memories they will make (like the first time I got felt up…that was much, much later).

And when they get home, trust me, you WILL miss your time without them.

(photo: imbrettjackson)

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