Dr. Michael Thompson, a leading child and family psychologist and New York Times best-selling author (who has fond memories of attending summer camp on Lake Temagami in Ontario as a child), provides insight into the idea that time away from home is vital in helping children grow in his just-released book Homesick and Happy: How Time Away From Parents Can Help A Child Grow (affiliate link).
“Camp ushers kids into a thrilling world of emotionally significant experiences that are theirs alone – ones they can only get when away from home,” explained Thompson in a news release. “Parents’ first instinct to shelter their offspring above all else – can actually deprive kids of the major developmental milestones and independent learning that occurs through letting them go.”
In the book, Thompson writes about 10 ways summer camp contributes to a child’s development, which include:
- Opportunities for imagination, play and creativity
- Camp is not school (no tests, judgment or evaluation)
- Character development
- Sacred dimensions
- Independence, self-esteem and identity
- Friendships and social skills
- Making a relationship with nature
- Healthy sexuality and body development
- Relationships between counselors and children
- Leadership training
Click here to buy a copy of Dr. Thompson’s book.