The excitement is building, because tomorrow 20 camp counselors will convene at my house to prepare for the equally jacked-up 50 campers who will descend on our camp Sunday afternoon for a week of fun-in-the-sun. And what could be better than that!
Going away for a week of summer camp is an adventure for kids of all ages. It’s a chance to reinvent yourself and bust out. Everyone is kind of starting over, not really knowing very many if any people. So you have no reputation like you do at school, and thus the space to try on new things and personas.
It’s also different from the school year because you will not be graded or evaluated, and so the pressure is off. Kids are more willing to try new things and to take more risks due to not being worried about making a mistake or disappointing their parents, teachers, or coaches.
And more-so than most places in their lives, the choices they make are theirs; who they befriend, what activities they choose, etc. This kind of autonomy leads to more engagement and fulfillment; they own the results and the successes. That is why campers arrive home acting much more responsible and grown-up.
I’m off to finish packing. I have a few gag gifts to surprise campers with…don’t tell them!