Our Camp Office team spends a lot of time reading the latest studies and ideas about child and human development. A few days ago, Scott found this interesting article "Why parents need to be patient with their school-age kids" on BostonGlobe.com. It offers an important reminder of the many pressures and conditions we may unconsciously place on our kids while they actually "grow and develop interests at their own pace, and we need to let them be themselves, not mini versions of us."
While events of mass violence have occurred with greater frequency in recent years, we know that the terrible attack against congregants at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburg might resonate differently and feel a bit closer to home for some of our campers and their families.
Finding the right sleepaway camp for your family is no easy feat, especially if you are unsure of whether or not all of the children in your home should attend the same camp!
Different overnight camps create different outcomes. Some focus on specific sports, arts, outdoor or aquatic skills, while others offer more generalized programs that seek to foster long-lasting friendships, independence, and resilience. Some sleepaway camps are a great fit for all of the boys and/or girls in a household, while others are a perfect match for some and leave others wanting something else. As a parent, going into your camp search with a strong sense of what your priorieties are is crucial. Finding a camp leadership team that you can trust to help you sort out and advocate for your family's needs may be the key to many summers of happy campers!
Our summer camp in NH's leadership team spends a lot of time researching the latest articles, TED talks and videos out there about child development, psychology, and how children succeed, and we are happy to share them with our parents and friends. We post the most interesting things we find on the Parenting Resource page of our website. In the last few weeks there have been so many that we thought might appeal to our camp parents that we decided to share them in a blog.
Camps Kenwood and Evergreen for boys and girls is a 7-week overnight camp in Wilmot, NH. We teach friendship, values and life skills in a traditional summer camp setting.
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.
Last week a good friend sent me an opinion piece in the New York Times titled "Stop Googling. Let's Talk". It was about the unintended consequences of our plugged in culture, and it gave some staggering statistics and anecdotes.
The other day Scott forwarded me an article about a group of teenagers in London who intentionally unplugged from the world of mobile phones and apps for a week. The results were incredibly telling.
An article for parents caught my eye a few days ago titled "6 Things The Happiest Families All Have In Common". It was actually a summary of the book The Secrets of Happy Families by author and social commentator Bruce Feiler. You may be familiar with Feiler, as he has written for the New York Times, New Yorker, is a regular commentator on NPR, and has a series of TED talks that have millions of views. Based on his research here are Feiler's 6 tips for creating a happy family dynamic:
- Create a family mission statement
- Share your family history
- Hold weekly family meetings
- Fight right
- Have family dinner together... any time of the day
- Just try
As I look at this list and think about my own family (including the one that I grew up in, and the one that my wife and I co-parent in now), I recognize some things that we do, and at least one then never occured to either of us. I've included a link below to the entire article, which elaborates on each of Feiler's points.