As a Nashville mom to three girls currently ages 11, 9 and 6, I love exposing my kids to the experiences of summer camp! I grew up attending camp starting in 5th grade and had a blast! I still fondly recall many of my camp songs, bonfires, games and experiences and constantly share – especially the songs – with my girls – sometimes to their embarrassment!
Later, while in college I worked as a camp counselor during the summers in East Tennessee where I nurtured my love of the outdoors, of adventure and I also saw the benefits of attending summer camp in other kids.
My two older girls have been attending camps for several years and both have been to several Leadership Academy Camps including Nashville Sail Camp. This summer, my youngest will attend Camp Warner Park too and she can’t wait to join her sisters!
At summer camp, my kids learn tons of new things, they get to experiment with choices and activities, and they interact with other kids and adults in a new setting. But, I also recognize how camp builds social emotional skills, confidence and creativity in my kids. It gives them some newfound freedom and independence too.
I don’t think traditional camps have changed much over the years since I was a kid, but I do think we parents are programmed a bit differently from the parents who came before us. For better or for worse, we’re there, either physically or virtually, for every high-point and low-point of their days it seems. While we celebrate their successes and help them navigate the tough times throughout the year, it’s nice and beneficial to their growth to let someone else do that in a new environment every once in awhile. It allows our kids to stretch their wings in a new way and in a new place.
My daughters claim they love camp because “it is way less structured than school, it is fun and we get to try new things.”
“At sailing camp, I learned the names for all of the parts of the sailboat and how to sail my own boat which was awesome!”
“ I love all of the nicknames the counselors give and also the daily awards for being kind.”