Homesick and Happy by Dr. Michael Thompson

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.

Matt Ralph

Matt Ralph

I'm the editor of Summer Camp Culture and also blog at Tangzine.com and MatthewRalph.com. I live in the Philadelphia area and went to camps and camp meetings growing up in Ohio, Maryland and New Jersey.

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