Sitting on fences is not safe. If your kid was sitting on a fence, you’d tell them to get off before they fell backward and hurt themselves. But there you are, sitting on the metaphorical fence, hemming-and-hawing about whether or not to give your kid the best summer on the planet.
If your kids don’t go to camp this year, they’ll survive. They’ll watch some a lot of TV, sleep in, eat whatever they can find in the pantry, hang out with their friends (probably in your living room, with their smelly, teenage socks all over your couch) maybe visit grandma, do some swimming, and complain on day 5 of vacation that they are bored. You know it’s true because it has happened every single summer since they started kindergarten. And now, for one reason or another, they have been begging and begging to go to summer camp and you keep telling them you need time to think about it. At the end of summer, is it going to warm your heart to listen to them brag about how they binge-watched Netflix all summer, or would you rather hear them gush about the new friend they made, the sports they tried and experiences they will never forget? It’s time to get off the fence.
Instead of watching TV all summer, your child could spend weeks in the mountain, hanging around campfires, making new friends, sailing and fishing and swimming and creating memories of a lifetime. Instead of you having to yell at them to clean their room or find something to do, you would be reading letters about how they faced their fears and tried something new at camp. Instead of struggling to find something for them to do every day of the summer, you could have a little R&R yourself, knowing your kid is having a blast. Instead of eating junk all day and sleeping in until noon, they could be filling their bellies with nutritious lunches, and waking up early to start their day of fun. Instead of having a plain old boring summer, they could go back to school with story after story about hiking adventures, zip lines, s’mores under the stars and inside jokes with all of their new friends.
They spend the entire school year sitting down. They sit in their classes, they sit at lunchtime, and they come home and sit and do homework, and they sit and eat dinner and then they sit and watch TV and then they go to bed. And they wake up and do it all again the next day and the next day and the next day. So when summer comes along, why not reward them by giving them a chance to run, play, stretch and really be kids? Summer camp is the best place to do that. Another great benefit of camp is all of the growing and learning that is done, most of the time without them even knowing it. They learn to compromise and communicate and learn self-discipline and self-confidence, things they definitely don’t learn sitting home in front of the TV all day.
If you’re really still on the fence about sending and your kid to camp, think about this: they won’t remember their favorite day of watching TV all day, but they will remember the lifetime memories made every day at camp.