Practicing Independence

June 19, 2012

At camp, some kids practice sports, some practice instruments, and some practice their belly flops. But one thing that ALL campers practice is independence!

Camp provides a nurturing and safe environment for kids to face challenges on their own, and that can be incredibly constructive to a child’s character.

In a recent Washington Post interview, author and psychologist Michael Thompson, PhD, put it this way: “I think camp is the best emotional preparation for a successful college experience, because you practice being on your own, keeping track of your clothes; you practice living in a community and getting along with roommates you don’t love — all of the skills you need for true independence.”

And when kids have had the experience of overcoming a challenge on their own, it gives them a positive memory to draw from when facing future obstacles; say, preparing for that really big math test or interviewing for that first job.

This summer, campers will certainly have an experience that lasts a lifetime — discovering their own strength!

Read more from Michael Thompson in his recently released book, Homesick and Happy: How Time Away from Parents Can Help a Child Grow.

Photo courtesy of Camp John Marc in Meridian, Texas.