Sleep-away camp was just what Ally needed in order to gain independence and confidence, marvels her mom, Sharon. “She found a whole new group of girls, and had a ball. She’s had a hard time with girls beginning in Grade 4,” says Sharon, “so it was great for her to bond with girls in a different setting.” Starting at age nine, Ally went away to camp for a week. The following summer, she begged to go back for four weeks. Her parents were delighted.
At 10, Ravit Pearlman is a veteran camper. She started going to overnight camp just before her seventh birthday, and she comes from what her mom, Sacha Reich, enthusiastically describes as a ‘camp family.’ Her dad, Aaron Pearlman, went to the same camp as a boy and later became a counselor there. Asked what she looks forward to at summer camp, Ravit doesn’t hesitate, “Seeing my friends again!” Her eyes sparkle as she eagerly outlines the scene: canoeing, the ropes course, bonding with the counselors, whispering to her cabin mates after dark.
If your kids are going to sleep-away camp this summer, you may be wrestling with worries and what-ifs. What if they wet the bed? What if the other kids are cliquish or mean? Will the camp director call me if they’re miserable?
Raising engaged students is not only the responsibility of the teachers and the administrators at your school, it’s a job that starts at home with every parent. You may have anxiety, fears or merely first-day jitters about your child going to school. But if you can muster up your courage and take a one-good-day-at-a-time approach, you will find that raising a child who loves school is easier than you might have imagined.
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