Thursday Thoughts

 I recently read an article called “Who is Carrying Your Kid’s Backpack?” You can check it out here-

The author asksWhy are we holding the thing that represents all that they can do without our capable assistance?”

She goes on to say I’m worried that our kids are growing up not knowing how to carry their own backpacks. I’m worried that they are not learning to handle a slowly increasing load over time and instead are suddenly confronted dangerously close to adulthood with a textbook laden cargo they aren’t prepared to bear….

I want them to earn their independence little by little with backpacks of a steadily increasing appropriate size so that someday that big biology textbook won’t seem like such a big deal.

I want them to feel confident carrying that backpack themselves but also be aware enough to know when it really is too heavy. I want them to be ok with asking for help not expecting to hand off the weight to someone else.” 

Parents have a lot of fears when they send their kids to camp- they worry about their children’s safety happiness etc. They also worry that without them their children won’t be able to do all of the important things like brush their teeth put on clean clothes make nutritious meal choices etc. At home parents may have to remind their kids to do everything and so it’s natural to worry about what will happen at camp.

 But the vast majority of the time kids are MUCH more capable than parents even realize. More often than not even our youngest campers are able to independently function at camp (choose their food at mealtimes get dressed brush their teeth choose activities seek help for problems etc). Even our campers whose parents have emailed or called me concerned that their children might not be ready for camp even those kids rise to the occasion! Without mom or dad there to remind them of every little thing they figure out how to “carry their own backpack” because they are able!

Camp gives kids the chance to see how capable they are. Camp staff are paying close attention and are there to help when kids need it. But camp is a safe controlled place for kids to develop their independence and grow strong and confident.

 If you are nervous about giving your child this opportunity call me! I want to talk to you more about your camper and how we can partner to give him or her the chance to grow! 

"To me Catholic Youth Camp is a place I can be myself and know others will not judge me. Plus it is a place where I can learn more about my religion and proclaim it to the world freely." - JP

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