Monday, May 10, 2010

Summer Camp in New England ~ Where I learned how NOT to Sail


Some of my most vivid memories of my childhood are from summer camp.  I was fortunate to have had parents that wanted to get rid of me for a few months every summer.  I went to NEMC (New England Music Camp) where I was able to play in an orchestra and take music classes in the morning and spend the afternoons sailing, canoeing, playing softball etc. I would be assigned to a practice cabin where I was supposed to practice my violin and clarinet ... but I'm not sure if I ever really practiced that much.  I did hang out at the canteen with friends eating English muffin pizza though.

I met one of my best friends, Julia, at camp.  She and I were goofy giggly gals and I love her to this day.  She was extremely talented and I was always jealous of her skill as a violinist so I would stalk her and eventually we became very good friends.  During our sophomore years in high school she called me from her home in upstate New York to tell me she was going to be heading to Interlochen Arts Academy for her junior and senior years.  She begged me to audition so that we could be together all year round.  So, I convinced my parents that I should audition, and waaaalah! I was off to boarding school to room with my bud from summer camp!

I've kept in touch with lots of camp friends, many of them have reconnected via Facebook.  We share the goofy bad 80's hair pictures and stories of who dated who, etc.  My summers at camp were a prefect way for me to gain some freedom and responsibility, in a supervised environment.  I learned how to make my bed with hospital corners, and how best to get the spiderwebs out of the shower house without ending up with a spider in your hair.  I met people from all different parts of the country.  Julia and I learned how NOT to sail a boat after tipping over one windy afternoon. I believe we also may have gotten into a wee bit of trouble for tipping a canoe, which by the way, only happens if you are being truly stupid. It's actually not that easy to get a canoe to tip over, but we figured out how.

My children are 10,7 and 5 years old and I’ve started to explore the possibility of sending them to an overnight camp.  I get a bit nervous as I’m sure most parents do, but I also know that camps provide structured and supervised opportunities for independence and discovery, things that children need in order grow into the responsible teens and adults that we all hope they will become.  My kids have much less freedom to explore, here in the city, than I ever did growing up on 11 acres in New Hampshire. We spend most every weekend in the mountains but I know that a camp experience will be an important part of their education and development.

My MomActive Live program on MomTV.com Wednesday at 10pm ET will be dedicated to highlighting the value of an overnight camp experience.  We’ll discuss the different concerns parents have and address such things as cost, types of camp, and size, among other things.  I’ve been corresponding with Ariella Randle Rogge Assistant Director/Program Director Sanborn Western Camps at High Trails Ranch and she has been gracious enough arrange for Mike MacDonald, director of Big Spring Ranch for Boys, and Julie Richardson, director of High Trails Ranch for Girls, to be guests on Wednesday nights program.  This will be an amazing opportunity to ask your questions and to learn about the planning and consideration that goes into your child’s summer camp experience at an American Camp Association accredited camp.  The chat room will be open and we’ll be monitoring it in order to address all of your questions.

Come Join the conversation with @banteringblonde on TheBlogFrog community.

comments

2 Responses to "Summer Camp in New England ~ Where I learned how NOT to Sail"
  1. Life Laugh Latte said...
    May 10, 2010 at 12:07 PM

    Thanks for coming by. I only did one overnight camp in 5th grade. My parents weren't big on that. My hubs was gone 2 months every summer. My daughter is 12 and has done some long weekend camps, but only this year is trying out two week long camps. I have to say that when she got home she was more aware, more thoughtful, more thankful, more independent. All good stuff. There is something to it for sure. Holly

  2. San Diego Momma said...
    May 10, 2010 at 10:13 PM

    I used to go to George Williams Camp in Lake Geneva, Wisc. every year. It was one of the best experiences of my childhood. (Looked a lot like your picture too!)

    Also: English muffin pizza? MY FAVORITE!

    Can't wait to tune in on Wed. I follow Sanborn Camps on Twitter and want to know more about what they do.

 

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