We have officially entered my favorite time outside of the Camp season…Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas! I have always loved this time of year because I am surrounded by my family and loved ones. I also love all of the traditions associated with this time of year. One of my absolute favorite traditions is setting up the Christmas tree and reminiscing about all of the ornaments as they are put on the tree. This year I am looking forward to creating new traditions with my husband as well since we just got married in March.
In addition to traditions, gift giving is one of my favorite things about the holidays. Just to see others smile when they have been thought about makes my heart extremely happy. In my opinion, one of the best gifts you can ever give a child is the opportunity for them to attend Camp. Yes, Camp is lots of fun, but there is so much more that your child or loved one will gain from their session. Here are some of the reasons why Camp is the best gift you could ever give.
Children learn responsibility.
One of my many responsibilities as executive camp director is interviewing potential staff members throughout the fall and spring to see if they will be a good fit for Camp. During the interview, I typically ask if they have had any prior experiences at Hermann Sons Life Camp or with another camp. When I ask them what the best lesson is that they have learned from camp, responsibility almost always is a part of their answer. For many of our campers, their session at Camp might be their first time away from home for an extended period of time that is not with family members or a close friend. While at Camp there are so many opportunities for campers to learn about responsibility and have an opportunity to practice that skill. Each morning after breakfast everyone returns to their cabin to “Clean for Ice Cream” and each individual is responsible for a job in the cabin to help their cabin mates. Everyone also makes their own beds each day. I personally believe it is wonderful for children to have an opportunity to be responsible outside of school and home.
Children learn to be inclusive.
In today’s society it seems like every single time that you turn on the TV or look on the Internet they are reporting something horrible involving children. One of my favorite things about Hermann Sons Life Camp is that we have campers who come from all over the state (and even some from other states and countries) and from different backgrounds. Our campers are able to learn about other cultures and how to be inclusive in a safe and welcoming environment. For some children Camp may be the only place they feel like they can be themselves and for that I am so grateful. During staff development each summer we talk a lot about creating a welcoming and accepting environment for our campers each and every session. Campers and staff members are then able to take these skills back to their hometowns and schools and help others learn about them as well.
Children learn that it’s okay to make mistakes.
Unfortunately there is a lot of pressure to be “perfect” in today’s society that our children are growing up in. One of the best things we can do is teach children the importance of making mistakes and learning from them. Camp provides individuals with an opportunity to make mistakes in a safe environment that helps them become resilient and bounce back from them. Mistakes are a part of life, but if children learn what the next step is after them they are often able to be more successful in general.
These are just a few reasons why Camp is an amazing gift that you could give your child or grandchild. Sometimes during the holidays it’s hard because there is so much focus on tangible gifts, but often those that can’t be touched are some of the best. Camp is a gift that your child or grandchild will remember and use for the rest of their life. I know when I have children one day that Camp will definitely be a gift that I give to them.