10 Surprising Things Kids Learn at Camp

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I would not be the person I am today without camp. -15-year-old camper My three decades of camp experience, coupled with my own and others’ research, have shaped my long-held opinion that camp experiences benefit children in profound ways. Yet … Continue reading


10 Ways to Better Understand Your Camper’s Experience

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Your camper’s home from camp, and they had a great time. But what exactly was this camp thing all about? If you want to better understand your camper’s experience and how it impacted them, try one or more of these … Continue reading


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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