We Do Our Best Growing at Camp
One of my kids’ favorite books is “Goodnight” by Elizabeth Verdick. In the book, the narrator says, “I do my best growing when I’m sleeping.” That line has always stuck with me. While I don’t want to challenge Ms. Verdick, or main-stream science, I do have a different opinion.
As the director of Apachi Village Northbrook, I have the distinct pleasure of seeing many youngsters experience their first summer at camp. Camp is a pivotal place for many children, giving them a chance to try their hand at a variety of new activities and mix with a community of new friends. While navigating new experiences at camp, I see children developing social, emotional, and educational skills every day.
My favorite example of “camp growth” is the swimming program at Apachi Village. Many campers are timid or outright afraid of the water prior to camp and for many this would be their child’s first-time swimming without a parent. As a parent of 2 year old twins, I understood those concerns completely! However, by our mid-summer parent swim observations, all our campers were not only swimming, but proud to show off their newfound skills to their parents. Through our well-developed swim program, all campers are able to improve their swimming skills at camp. Feeling confident and being water-safe are gifts I am proud we are giving to Apachi campers.
Developing an important life skill is only one example of “camp growth.” Apachi campers also form life-long friendships, learn conflict resolution, try new art techniques, gain confidence to perform in our end-of-summer talent show…my list could go on and on! While kids may grow while they sleep, I believe they do their BEST growing while at camp.