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Secondary Homesickness: When Your Camper doesn’t want to go BACK to Camp

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Two or three times each year, I get a call from a returning camper’s parent who is baffled that their once-happy camper is now saying she doesn’t want to return to camp. From what the parent saw and heard last … Continue reading

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Research finds Children Learn Social Skills at Camp

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Last summer, I conducted research on the impact camp experiences have on children’s social skills and happiness. This research was through the California State University, Fresno for my master’s degree thesis entitled, “The Perceived Impact of Camp Experiences on Youth Social Skills … Continue reading

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Three Character Traits Kids Develop at Camp

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While it’s easy to think of ways to teach our kids to do laundry or solve math problems, finding a way to instill important character traits isn’t so simple. The way we model traits we want our children to exhibit … Continue reading

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10 Social Skills Kids Learn at Camp

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At one of my son’s soccer games this fall, a mom on our team offered her son $50 for each goal he scored. He had the highest scoring game of his life, and his mom had to fork over enough … Continue reading

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Five Reasons Every Teen Should go to Summer Camp

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Being at camp gives me this sense of belonging that I’ve never felt anywhere else. I know that I can be myself and that my cabin mates will love me for who I am, and I’ve brought that to my … Continue reading

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Top 3 Posts of 2014

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Dear Sunshine Parenting Reader, Thank you for reading my posts this year! In 2007, I read a book called Writing to the Change the World. I decided that if something I share helps one person, then writing is a worthwhile way to … Continue reading

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What’s the Best Age for Camp?

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You probably want a number here.  If you’re only going to read these first two sentences, then I’ll pick the age of nine. But my real answer is a bit more complex. When to start sending your child to sleep-away … Continue reading

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Five Reasons Great Parents Send Their Kids to Camp

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My shy, quiet nine-year-old went to camp not knowing a soul. Two weeks later, she came home transformed.  She blossomed. She made friends, learned a multitude of activities, felt safe, loved, confident, and happy — really, really happy.  As hard as … Continue reading

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Happiness Habits

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“Realize that true happiness lies within you. Waste no time and effort searching for peace and contentment and joy in the world outside. Remember that there is no happiness in having or in getting, but only in giving. Reach out. … Continue reading

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Friends: Finding Gold in a Plastic Era

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“Friendship is the gold of childhood.”   Michael Thompson’s statement stuck with me long after I attended his session on the social lives of millennial children at a recent American Camp Association conference.  I would go even further and say that … Continue reading