Where is the Easy Button?

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We take to heart all of the information you provide to us about your girls. The individual camper profiles help us get to know your daughter. We ask you to describe her personality, her comfort level in new situations, and the particular desires you have for her camp experience.

Overwhelmingly, we are seeing the same requests for camp outcomes. I have taken the below from our June Camper Profiles. Some of you may recognize your words:

  • To push herself to try new things and not box herself in on what she prematurely thinks she can and cannot do
  • To earn how to handle insecurities and disagreements
  • To learn to go with the flow and have patience are always areas for growth
  • To be vulnerable and to try something out of her comfort zone.
  • To listen to that voice that tells her to be brave, wonder, create rather than the critical ego that says she shouldn’t, can’t, etc.
  • To sit with someone she does not know and to get to know them; to make the new person and everyone in her cabin feel a part of whatever is going on at the time.
  • To laugh, to put the other girl first, share stories, to listen to stories, be playful, face a fear, encourage and cheer on those around her, connect with nature, and be still.
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So much of the above involves being uncomfortable. We have to stretch to grow. We have to face challenges to feel successful. We have to learn to fail and to pick ourselves back up again to develop resilience. As parents, we have done hard things in our own lives. We know these challenges added shape to who we have become and even the way we choose to parent. This recent article in The Washington Post provided me with inspiration as I thought about where we find ourselves with our children as we emerge from the pandemic.

As parents, we want to protect our children. We want to provide them with comfort, safety, health and love. We give them roots. It is also our job to give our children wings. They need to be able to soar on their own as we will not always be around. We want to know we have set our children up to be successful; to be able to stand on their own two feet, to own their decisions and to be proud of who they are.

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Camp is a wonderful place to begin developing these skills. The girls meet others who are different from themselves, from different places, of different faiths, and of different backgrounds. This opportunity to get to know others adds richness to our camp community and leads to lifelong friendships. The girls can choose activities that will teach them new skills. In some, the challenge is not only physical but requires a mental component as well. Our staff is trained to encourage that physical and emotional stretch to reach a goal: the top of the rock wall, jumping a horse over a fence, performing in front of a crowd, or perhaps rolling a kayak for the first time. This is a place to do hard things, and this is a place to conquer hard things.

Everything we experience adds shape to who we become. As adults, we have learned that life is not easy, but it is rich with relationships, emotions and experiences. Childhood isn’t easy either. It is magical at times, but there are also obstacles to overcome. We have to do hard things along the way to learn and grow. One of our catchphrases is, “We learn something new every day.” We don’t promise perfection at camp. What we do promise is an investment of ourselves in our girls that allows them to understand they can do far more than they think they can. It just may not be easy when they do it, but the reward is tremendous.

Soar girls, soar.

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