Your daughter may be with us at Keystone, but going to camp involves the entire family. It is important to the family as well as the camper that we all work together for the success of the camper. We certainly view our relationship with our camp families as a partnership for the benefit of all.
Communication from home is important. The girls need to hear how proud you are of their decision to come to camp. They need to hear you love them. They need you to be curious about their new friendships, their activities and the new things they are learning. Communication also represents a fine balance. Too many letters and emails may keep her focus on home and family. The quantity of the letters can be overwhelming as a child adjusts to camp. Each email reminds her she is away from home, and depending on what is written to her, she may begin to feel left out of activities family members may be doing while she is at camp. If you email every day, keep them light and focused on camp. If you choose to email less frequently, that is absolutely okay. It is also so hard to not tell your daughter you miss her. However, if you do tell her, that may cause her to question why she is at camp. You have given your daughter the gift of camp; the gift of independence and adventure. By allowing her this space, you are strengthening your relationship. She develops a new perspective on herself and home. She will bring so many stories home to share that allow her to add to the depth of her relationship with you.
The biggest take-aways from summer camp are being empowered to make your own decisions and to confront challenging situations. Owning the decisions you make and being able to persevere through a challenging situation to reach a positive outcome are transformative opportunities for our girls. We want them to know we trust them to do this for themselves. Perhaps they are fearful about their cabin overnight because they have no experience sleeping outside in the woods, or maybe they have never had to ask a peer to stop doing something that bothers them or that encroaches on their personal space. There is also the chance that the words spoken have hurt someone’s feelings, and we see this hurt happen in real time. Our staff stand beside our girls providing support as they navigate these experiences.
Life happens very rapidly at camp, and it is hard for those at home to keep up with us. A tiff in the cabin often resolves itself within the hour and the girls go happily on their way to their activities. However, in today’s world of constant communication, the moment of discord may end up in an email home and color the entire emotion of the letter. Something we handle when it happens then becomes a lingering concern in the next day’s letter from home. With 2 or 3 counselors in every cabin, not much gets missed in the girls’ relationships with one another. Circle time each evening gives the cabin group more time to discuss the highs and the lows of the day and to figure out the best path forward.
We are your eyes and ears while your girls are with us. We work hard to support the successes of our/your girls at Keystone. We want them to thrive at camp, and we want to see them return for years to come. We are your partners in raising these wonderful girls, and we are grateful you believe in the power of camp.