Camp Memories: A Mom's PerspectiveSaturday, February 04, 2012
When I was just a wee lass, I often envied classmates who would return to school in September and share all the wonderful goings-on that took place during summer camp. It's not that I didn't have an opportunity to enjoy wonderful experiences of my own during the break. It was simply a matter of feeling like I was missing out on something. The chance to make new friends, perhaps. Or the possibility of learning something new, all the while having fun.
Now that I have children of my own, it's easy to get excited over the idea of sending them to summer camp. And I'm not just referring to the break that mommy relishes. By affording my children the opportunity to participate in a well-rounded program, my hope is that they become better able to cope with challenges, that they foster relationships based on trust and that they develop a sense of who they are while building on their self-confidence. And of course, being physically active, learning life skills and having fun are important aspects, too.
Last summer, we registered our daughter in a tennis camp for a couple of weeks. We bought her some super cute tennis gear and would walk her to the local community centre each day. At age six, we felt she was ready for an all-day camp. Half of the day consisted of tennis lessons while the other half involved crafts and other activities, including swimming. A few of her classmates and daycare friends were there, too, which made it much more appealing to her. At first, I wasn't sure she would let me leave without her making a fuss, which was a bit of a concern for me. And yet, the whole idea of being independent was something in which she all of sudden took pride. On the very first day, she did not hesitate to shoo me away. As I made my way home, she looked back and waved, grinning from ear to ear before joining her friends. It's like my little baby grew up before my very eyes.
Since then, my daughter has developed a love of tennis and now attends weekly lessons. It is amazing to watch her doing something that she enjoys thoroughly and I credit her enthusiasm to her initial experience in summer camp. This summer, I have the added pleasure of sending my soon-to-be four-year-old to camp, too. I felt so bad that he was too young to join his sister last year. But I will make up for it this summer. I'm looking forward to researching additional camps that are available in the area. The problem will be how to narrow them all down.
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