Let’s Talk Camp
The straight facts on everything you want to know and more!
Grandparenting brings us into many experiences, journeys and destinations as we meander through our grown children’s lives with their children. Part of understanding the bits and pieces of this flight, is our ability to draw upon our own parental experiences. More specifically, when a child is ready and interested in going to camp, you as a grandparent may be called upon to be a champion or cheerleader for the group. Perhaps you will assume that role since you as a parent went through this process years ago. As grandparents, we have a huge resource of experience to impart to the younger generation, so let’s use this opportunity to communicate how truly ‘grand’ we really are!
The thought of sending a child to camp can be an overwhelming task for parents and grandparents alike. Not only is the process a daunting task to match the right camp to the needs of an individual, but also it’s a time where we realize our grandchild’s needs are growing in a healthy and normal manner. When a child expresses the desire to investigate going to camp (specifically sleep away), it is not because there is unrest or unhappiness at home. Instead parents need to take a breath, as do grandparents — this is part of the growth process and it is definitely a healthy one.
Now mind you, camp is an expensive addition to any family’s bottom line. That being said, there are many ways to approach this “camp exploration”. What we are sharing with you is a totally FREE service with no fees or obligation – just plain information.
Enter, Laurel and Norm Barrie, owners of The Camp Connection for over 33 years (www.thecampconnection.com) who assist families with recommendations on overnight camps, specialty camps, teen tours, community service and educational programs. Their highly personal service is based on their own knowledge first hand of every detail at a camp. They visit over 70 per year themselves. With a trove of information and attention to detail, The Camp Connection can help place a child in a correct and fitting environment. In addition, their daughter Melissa, a mother of two, is part of the team, consulting and fitting children and camps together.
“Camp is an important part of a child’s growth,” says Laurel, “they gain time for independent thinking, individual and group decision making, self-esteem, and personal growth in so many ways. This is essential to a child’s growth, hands down.” And, Laurel adds, “The Camp Connection is an objective source of unbiased and accurate information. We consider ourselves a filter between parents and a fabulous industry.” That is why many parents utilize a service such as The Camp Connection to help in their search and planning for an environment that mirrors their child’s needs.
Laurel shares some simple telltale signs of how to know if a child is ready for camp:
- they are outgrowing current day programs, activities and group functions
- many of their friends are talking about or visiting or planning to break into another type of ‘camp’ experience
- children begin to express and yearn for more activities on the weekends and evening. (They can exhibit boredom.)
- a child wants to explore personal interests such as gymnastics, sports, music, riding, or art, in a more concentrated setting
All of these factors contribute to why it’s a wise choice to investigate camps with a professional counselor. The Camp Connection strongly urges parents to use the information that is shared and then go and visit the camp in session with the child. This way, one gets to see first hand everything about the entire camp and its function. All this camp investigation takes time, so it’s a good idea to start as soon as you see or think that day is near.
Oh come on… are you thinking how empty and sad it would feel if your grandchild or child went away to camp? Instead, embrace the growth and opportunity to do so, and besides there’s great letters to be written, and visiting day to enjoy! Camp is the perfect place for a child to digitally disconnect and just be a child- and this generation of children is going to need that badly.
Interested in learning more? Contact The Camp Connection –
You can also contact owner Laurel Barrie directly: