A Gift to Your Child
March 30th, 2012 by By: Roberta King, Grand Rapids Community Foundation
Perhaps, camp is a generational thing. If you went to camp as a kid, you’re more likely to send your own kids to camp.
I went to Girl Scout camp from age eight to 18 (I was a counselor by 18), and I loved the experiences. My husband Mike never went to camp, his family had a cottage so he summered there. When our kids came of age, I was totally ready to send them to camp. Mike, not so much. I had to convince him that camps are safe, well-staffed and most importantly fun. Until the day we dropped our six year old son Noah off at Indian Trails Camp, Mike was doubtful that this was a good idea. Of course, Noah had a great time at camp! He got to swim every day, made crafts, got to hang out with kids like him and cool teen counselors and ate great camp food. He was safe and returned home happy. What more could a parent want? Our daughter, Tasha was proud to have been a camper at Camp Pendalouan for five summers in a row and also enjoyed summers at Camp Henry and SpringHill Camp.
At camp I learned how to get along with new people and make friends with girls from different ethnicities and backgrounds. I learned to appreciate the out of doors and picked up some great wilderness survival skills. I learned how to cook over a fire and how to make hand cranked ice cream. I still remember all the verses and motions to hundreds of great songs. I became a strong swimmer and capable boater. I learned at an early age that there was a big world outside my family, and that I could survive without my parents for a week or two. I went to camp not knowing anyone and made friends with people I still know and enjoy.
Have no doubt, summer camp is a gift you can give your child that will last longer and be more meaningful than anything you can buy in a store.