We all remember the first time we went away to camp. Whether it was a day camp, a weekend camp, a full week, or more, we all remember it.
We were juggling so many emotions. We were nervous to leave our parents. We were scared that the other kids were going to make fun of us. We were excited to go on all the adventures and try new things. But most of all, by the end of it, we were so proud of ourselves for making it through. Whether camp went smoothly or not, we were proud of ourselves for surviving without our parents and for showing ourselves what we were really capable of.
If we remember all of this, why don't we send our kids to camp anymore?
Well, Justin Worsham of The Dad Podcast thinks it comes down to fear. The parents fear.
"I won’t lie. The idea of sending my kid away to a sleep away camp is a little concerning. For some reason, modern parents are hard wired to think the world is trying to hurt your kid.
Ironically it is that mindset that is probably the biggest argument FOR a sleep away camp. Research shows that sleep away camp makes kids more confident and builds social skills. Helicopter parenting where you are always around has shown to make kids more prone to depression and drug and alcohol abuse. How does it make sense that being away from the very beings that are supposed to take care of you is healthier for you?
My guess is that being away from their parents gives kids a moment to really apply the values and skills their parents try to instill in them. Almost like a sample of the real world with the ability to come home and share your experiences.
My dad told me that the best way to give kids self confidence is to find something that only they can do that their friends can’t. He said it gives them something to talk about. And here I am 30 yrs later reading the same sentiment from surveys and experts."
To hear more of Justin's take on the impact of camps on kids, and other parenting topics, you can check out all of his stuff at The Dad Podcast
Check out his latest episode with Rachel and Kyle from WrightWellnessCenter.com about the pressure we put on ourselves, and what makes a man a man today.