Choosing a Summer Camp
When you choose a camp, you’re not just choosing what activities your child will do during the summer.
You’re choosing a community. A tribe. Partly for you, but mostly for them. You’re choosing the people who will be around your child during some of their most developmentally impactful time. The time where they’re not just learning math or science or reading and writing, but rather the time when they’re learning who they are, who they want to be, what do they love, what do they align with, what kind of people do they want to surround themselves with.
You’re choosing the place and environment where, if you do it right and send them there consistently year after year, they will grow up into the people they will be in the world. Their home, your home, is an incubator. The nest where they will be given their foundations and framework, their roots.
School is where they will learn the knowledge, develop the skills and relationship to learning that will help them navigate the rest of their schooling life, and eventually their career.
Camp is where they learn to risk, to fail and be ok, to try again, to step out on that stage, to speak up, to laugh, to collaborate, to be part of a group, to have fun, to get out of their comfort zone, to try something new, to meet and welcome and interact with new people, people who are different from them. It’s where they learn about relationships outside of the home and school settings, aka, the rest of the world. Its where they learn about leadership, and who and what they respect. About what if feels like to respect themselves and be respected by others.
After all, while there are many things that are important in life, life is really all about relating. To yourself and others. You can have the most successful academic or professional career imaginable and still be miserable. You can have wealth and be unhappy. Its very hard to find someone who has strong, aligned, supportive, meaningful relationships who is unhappy.
We are social animals. We suffer in isolation. All the research shows how much happiness is linked to the fulfillment people have in their relationships with themselves and others. Success in business does not prevent isolation. Success in school does not prevent loneliness.
Success in relationships brings fulfillment in life, inspiration, a sense of belonging, self-worth, joy and love. Isn’t that what we all want for our kids? To be happy, to be kind, to feel good about themselves, to contribute and to belong?
Camp is where the roots you plant turn into solid trunks and expansive branches and the leaves and flowers that give back to the world what you have put into the roots.
Choosing a camp is not just about how convenient it is, how much or how little it costs, what the popular choice is or what activities they’ll be doing. Those are all important. But choosing a camp is about choosing what kind of people you want your kid to be around as he/she is growing in all the ways that truly matter; what kind of environment will they be in? What are their values? How will the counselors and teachers and leaders respond in a difficult or critical moment where growth can happen, where inspiration can be sparked, where meaning can be found, where self-belief can take root, where passion can take flight?
It’s kind of a big deal when you think about it like that, isnt it?
Choosing a camp is an important decision. When choosing camp, ask yourself…
What do you want for your child? Will this camp provide that?
Do I trust these people? Are their values in line with mine?
Will they SEE and KNOW my kid for who he/she is?
Will they CARE enough to take the time and effort to really be present with him/her as he/she moves through a difficult moment?
Is there joy? Is there love? Is there inspiration?
Is there a culture that fosters inclusion, respect, curiosity, self-discovery, acceptance, grit, resilience, honesty, authenticity and accountability, in addition to creativity, learning, and play?
At Camp Super Duper, we value all of those things and we go to great lengths to hire and train people who do as well, and who get just how important every moment in a child’s day and life really is, and work to create an environment and community that supports all the human beings in it as individuals on their journey, with passion, care and reverence for that honor/duty/privilege to be there with your child as they discover who they are, what they are capable of and who they want to be.
Whether you choose our camp or another camp, we strongly encourage you to choose a camp that answers these questions satisfactorily for you, that aligns with your values. And we encourage you, whenever possible, to choose one camp to go for the majority of the time your family can afford camp, and to choose a camp that your child will return to year after and deepen their sense of belonging and tribe with a community they are proud to be a part of.
Camp Super Duper