Why 7 Week Summer Camp?November 13, 2014
Why is Kenwood and Evergreen a 7 Week Summer Camp?
We are often asked why is Kenwood and Evergreen a 7-week summer camp? Why aren’t you a shorter 4-week camp like so many others out there? Simply put, because going to a 7-week camp is amazing and life changing, and has a far longer impact on a child’s social and emotional development. Here are some of our favorite reasons why our overnight camp in NH is 7 weeks long:
7-weeks means more time having fun. Being a camper at Kenwood and Evergreen means participating in more than 35 different exciting daily activities, including team and individual sports, visual and performing arts, swimming, kayaking, water skiing, fishing and wake boarding, and outdoor adventures like rock climbing, canoe trips and overnight camping trips. It takes an entire summer to try all of the amazing activities that we offer!
You get to spend the entire summer with your new best friends. Kids discover that making friends at Kenwood and Evergreen happens on day #1, and once they do they want to be with them more and more. 7 weeks of living with your friends forges an unbreakable bond. You move beyond friendship to feeling almost like family. Your camper friends know you on a deeper level, and love you unconditionally.
7-week camp is the ultimate growth experience. A full-season summer camp is simply the best place for children to learn how to be independent, confident, and responsible young adults. Summer camp teaches children how to be resilient, to compromise, and to collaborate with others on projects and goals. Developing these skills takes time, as they require a lot of practice. A summer living independent from mom and dad, while being carefully guided by quality role models, is the surest way to teach these vital outcomes.
Anxiety about leaving home is never cured by remaining home. It may seem counterintuitive, but it’s true. Children who are anxious about spending time away from home will only grow more confident if they are given the opportunity to test life outside of their physical comfort zone. You may be considering a shortened season camp as a way of hedging your bet, thinking “if she goes and doesn’t like it at least it’s only a short period of time”. Experience tells us that a longer session allows anxious campers the opportunity to experience multiple examples of overcoming their anxieties, and the impact is cumulative. Subsequent bouts of homesickness become less frequent, and eventually disappear all together. At the end of year #1 campers can proudly return home saying “I achieved something incredible this summer!”, and carry that sense of accomplishment with them for the rest of their lives!
It takes us an entire summer to do all of the fun and crazy things on our calendar. Mountain climbs and overnight camping trips. Wrestling in 1,000 pounds of Jell-O. Day trips to water parks and the beach. Carnival, our music festival Hollowpallooza, our camper film festival, and Color War. The many, many traveling sports teams you can try out for. Our incredible theater productions. Water skiing, wake boarding, and tubing around the lake. A ropes course with 13 different climbing stations and a 100-yard zip line. There’s just no way you can do all of these incredible things in less time!
It also takes time to get better at your favorite sports and arts activities. You may already have a favorite sport, and our talented coaches would love to help you improve your skills. You may have already dreamed up an art project you want to create, and our skilled instructors can’t wait to help you make it a reality. Once you arrive at Kenwood and Evergreen you may also discover a new activity that you suddenly fall in love with. Seven weeks of camp will provide you with the time you need to grow as the athlete and artist you want to become, and maybe discover that you have multiple incredible talents.
Child development experts know that children need to develop full lives outside of their homes…and that camp is the place for them to do this. Here is a quote from noted author and child development expert Dr. Michael Thompson:
“There are things that, as a parent, you cannot do for your children, as much as you might wish to. You cannot make them happy (if you try too hard they become whiners); you cannot give them self-esteem and confidence (those come from their own accomplishments); you cannot pick friends for them and micro-manage their social lives, and finally you cannot give them independence. The only way children can grow into independence is to have their parents open the door and let them walk out. That’s what makes camp such a life-changing experience for children.”
Parents fear that they will miss their children too much. That may happen, but it’s crucial to look at what the end result of this fear can be. Often times children internalize the message my mom or dad can’t live without me, and this inhibits them from exploring their world, or becoming a fully independent adult. It may be important to ask yourself the question am I more nervous for him or for me? And if it’s me, am I becoming an obstacle to my child’s growth? As Dr. Thompson wrote “If you want an independent child, you have to master your own childsickness.”
The good news is that over the years we’ve helped 100’s of childsick parents so that they actually enjoyed their summers, too. The dividend of your child being away for 7 weeks is when they return home from a fantastic summer experience, and you can see that they are now better prepared for life.