30 Days and Counting Plus 8 things You Can’t Give Your Kids

John Dockendorf07 Jun, 2012
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We are getting ready! All kinds of new toys are arriving at camp. We are building decks on the girl’s cabins and hope to move the carpentry crew over to “Boy’s Land” soon. The new bathhouses are finished. We are feverishly planning activities and the details for our off campus “Ventures”.  A second new mountain biking trail is under construction in our woods and being graded especially for novices.   We can’t wait for opening day.  Thirty days and counting! Staff training starts June 25 and our first campers arrive July 7.  Energy is high and excitement is building.

I’m sure as school is coming to an end; there is a lot of energy at your home, too.   Two of my daughters will be attending Pinnacle this summer and they are equally excited.  Growing up in our family, my kids have no choice but to be big advocates of Camp.

In the past when they have headed off to Camp my advice has been: Have a lot of fun, represent your family well, do more than your share, always volunteer, be your best self, include everyone, make the most of every minute, make good decisions, stay safe and embrace new challenges and people.  They roll their eyes but I know some of it sinks in!

I also get the chance to reflect on what Jane and I want from their camp experiences.  After safety, we hope they will have a lot of fun. They have worked hard at school this year and they need a fun break.  We are excited for them to have their own experience, away from our micro managing. It’s good for them to stand on their own, and we know this is better with careful guidance from their counselors.  We’d be delighted if they stepped up a little in the self-responsibility category.  We are excited that they will be given small chores at camp like helping clean their cabin and bathhouse and clearing their table.  Maybe this will translate into helping out more at home. That might be wishful thinking!

We are ecstatic that we can temporarily suspend our constant battles with all that we find inappropriate with the Disney Channel and pop radio. I can’t wait for my kids to experience two weeks without the internet, pop culture, computer games and TV! We are excited for our kids to be outside, challenge themselves, have constant adventures on their personal frontier and live simply and healthily. We are eager for them to meet great role models, folks a lot “hipper” than we are, but folks we know will communicate parental values. And we are excited for hem to makenew friends from all over the country.

We are excited because Camp can do things that we as parents can’t.  In his Recent Book, Homesick and Happy, bestselling author and Child Psychologist, Dr. Michael Thompson shares the 8 things that parents can’t do for their kids:
1)    We cannot make our children happy.
2)    We cannot give our children high self – esteem.
3)    We cannot make friends for our children or micro manage their friendships.
4)    We cannot successfully double as our child’s agent, manager and coach.
5)    We cannot create the “Second family” for which our child yearns in order to facilitate his / her growth.
6)    We cannot compete with or limit our children’s total immersion in the online, digital and social media realms.
7)    We cannot keep our children perfectly safe, but we can drive them crazy trying.
8)    We cannot make our children independent.

The good thing is that Camp Pinnacle creates an environment where kids can develop some of these traits. Just by going to Camp, your child will become more independent. Camp can be the second family that kids need as they individuate from parents. Through hard work in the activities, kids feel a sense of accomplishment and achieve success. Through success that is earned, children develop confidence and self-esteem. And of course great new friends is perhaps the biggest highlight of the whole summer camp experience.

We are eager for the summer to begin! See you on opening day.

Best, Dock

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