The Road to Independence

girl in canoe.jpg It’s hard to let our kids go. From the moment they’re born, to letting them take their first steps on their own, even if they fall, to sending them off on the bus to sleep away camp; the guilt and fear that runs through a parent’s mind when giving a child the chance to assert their independence never ends. We all want our children to grow up to be strong, confident, independent people. Part of that process begins at overnight camp. Children learn invaluable life skills, such as how to take care of themselves and to do things on their own.
Sometimes it’s easier for us to do everything for our children, like make their beds, put away their things, brush their hair, etc. At camp, kids build self esteem by making their own beds each morning, keeping their area neat for inspection, doing their best to maintain good hygiene and importantly, helping others. Marcy Isdaner, director of Camp Mataponi in Maine, has three daughters and feels “camp fosters independence and confidence. You learn RESPECT and how to compromise.”
Living day and night with their peers may be challenging at times, but kids learn to deal with conflict on their own, or with the help of counselors. It helps build character when they don’t have mommy and daddy to lean on and go running to.
Another way that children gain incredible independence and confidence is by climbing mountains, canoeing down rivers, whitewater rafting, building a camp fire, pitching a tent and more! One of the most beautiful places to experience all that nature has to offer is in the state of Maine. Maine has so many wonderful overnight camps. All boys, all girls, co-ed and they all offer so many amazing opportunities for your child. When I was at camp in Maine I was so scared of mountain climbing and did not want to do it. With some encouragement from my bunkmates and counselors I was able to climb the highest mountain in Maine, Mount Katahdin. It is an experience that I will never forget. Over 20 years later I can still remember that feeling of accomplishment. I was, and am still so proud of myself. That feeling stays with you.
To read personal stories by real camp parents who believe that sending your child to overnight camp in Maine will be the best decision you ever made, visit Summer is the perfect time to tour the camps and see the kids, staff and programming in action. What are you waiting for? Start your kids on the road to independence and confidence today!