‘Should I Be Sending My Children to Camp?’

June 25, 2012

I recently contributed a piece to the Huffington Post’s Parenting Blog on summer camps. In “Should I Be Sending My Children to Camp?” I tackle the question of whether sending your child to overnight camp still makes sense in the competitive, resume-building world.

My answer–as you may have guessed–is a resounding YES. Here’s an excerpt from the piece:

After conducting hundreds of interviews of campers and former campers for my book, “Homesick and Happy: How Time Away from Parents Can Help a Child Grow,” I know that many young people do not really know how strong they are, how competent they are or even who they are until they get away from their parents and test themselves in a new and challenging environment. Many children told me the best thing about camp was, “I can really be myself here.” What do they mean by that? I am pretty sure I know the answer. When children are away from their parents, they do not have to view their own life and achievements through the lens of my-athlete-father-standing-on-the-sidelines-watching-me or my-mother-is-worried-that-I’ll fail. When a child is on his own, the experience is his alone, the satisfaction belongs only to him and he does not have to filter it through what his parents think and feel.

You can read the full piece and join the discussion on the Huffington Post Parenting Blog.