We are often asked about how we have such kind, caring, intentional counselors. One of the ways that we make this happen is with our rigorous camp counselor training program. Currently, we are deep into our second week of Staff Training, and yesterday was a really powerful day of learning.
Dr. Michael Thompson, consulting child psychologist at our brother/sister summer camp in New Hampshire, recently shared this excellent piece in the New York Times titled "Seven Ways Parents Can Help 13-Year-Olds Start Their Social Media Lives Right". This information is incredibly important, since, according to the Pew Research Center, 57% of 13- and 14-year olds use Facebook, 44% use Instagram, and 21% use Twitter. As even the most savvy adult has learned, successfully and safely navigating this world of social media isn't always easy. Far too many young people fail to grasp just how vulnerable they can make themselves on these platforms, or how truly permanent their photos, videos and postings are in this virtual world. It's just one of the reasons why our camp community requires our campers to spend 7 weeks of their summers unplugged from the internet.
Besides being a world-renowned child development expert and public speaker, Dr. Michael Thompson is also our brother/sister summer camp's consulting psychologist. Having heard him speak to groups of all sizes -- including annual training sessions with our counselors -- I am always struck by his seemingly innate understanding of children and their needs. He also has an uncanny ability to cut to the core of an issue and give parents truly helpful, insightful advice for raising their children.