Thursday, July 5, 2012

Summer Camp

Town & Country’s June cover story focused on summer camps and their enduring popularity. In fact, according to the article, summer sleep-away camps have seen a rise in enrollment as parents seek ways to “unplug” their kids from the world and immerse them in the great outdoors, athletics and arts and crafts, with not a TV or iPhone in sight.

I never attended sleep-away camp, only day camps. My husband did, albeit a week-long camp not far outside of Louisville. The camps featured in T&C host kids for weeks at a time, and often campers travel several hundred miles to attend these storied institutions, many based in North Carolina, New Hampshire and Maine. One anecdote even told of the very wealthy flying their children in private jets to and from camp. Well, this is Town & Country after all. The campers can’t just arrive in a minivan for God’s sake!

Many of the camps featured in the article focus on general outdoor activities, as well as the building of leadership skills and friendships. So often these days, kids go away to camps that have a very specific focus, such as tennis and lacrosse, or engineering or the arts - which is not a bad thing, especially if your child really enjoys it. But, the article focuses on the benefits of a typical summer camp where kids can be kids, and experience the rite of passage that is sleep-away camp. Of course, I should note that the "typical" summer camp that T&C discusses doesn't come with a typical price tag. Again, that wouldn't be very T&C, would it?

Did you go to summer camp? What did you like/dislike about it? Will your own kids go to summer camp?

Image from Town & Country Magazine


sweetpea said...

we are big on summer camp here! Ours is VERY rustic! It is catholic based but all faiths can go. My girls love it! They do 2 week but intend on longer next year! My oldest son just back yesterday from working all the sessions as kitchen crew/chef...he is still on a high from it! We all sing the camp songs and think it is a very important part of their growing up and being removed from the plugged in world! Ours is reasonably priced and is a lot of local kids but a lot of kids have always come in from New Orleans and Arkansas, Mississippi and other other places...It is a something we are so thankful for!

The Entertaining House said...

I adored. ADORED. summer camp. As a child in NYC my parents sent me away for fresh air... I went to camp for 8 weeks (when I was older) and I can honestly say they were some of the best 8 weeks of my life. I have gotten in touch w many camp friends via Facebook. In my youth I had bonds with them in a way I did not have w my school friends. I had sisters, brothers and best friends in these children... I loved the campfires, lake swimming, riding, archery, arts and crafts that I never would have been exposed to. Sleepover camps are very $$ here in NE... I would love to send all three but at the moment I simply cannot.

Michelle said...

I went to summer camp from age 10-18 (I was a counselor there when I turned 17). It was an all girls camp on a lake in northern Wisconsin, and had everything from dance to riding, arts & crafts, nature, drama, and all kinds of sports. I LOVED camp, and went for 4 weeks the first few years, then begged my parents to let me stay the full 8. I credit camp for shaping me in to the woman I am today. Cell phones aren't allowed, and they highly discourage all kind of electrical devices. I would equate summer camp to a form these unbreakable bonds than last a life time. Our daughter will being going to the same camp I went to as soon as she is ready!

Jill said...

The only summer camp I ever went to was a three or four-day cheerleading camp, from the time I was in 7th grade till I graduated high school. Up to the point, I'd begged my parents to let me go to 4-H camp, but they never did. In hindsight, it is probably because they didn't want to come pick me up halfway through the week when I complained about being too hot and such, ha! And I certainly didn't arrive via private jet...more like SCHOOL BUS to the good ol' University of KY :)

Main Line Sportsman said...

I went to a YMCA camp in the Poconos for 5 Summers....4 weeks each Summer. I loved it. All boys...riding,shooting,camping canoeing,hiking,baseball swimming. I still have friends from those days. Right now my oldest is a Counselor at a YMCA camp on MD Eastern Shore and son is a camper there. great stuff!!

janie said...

Are you aware that there are some camps in Texas and North Carolina that do unofficial and clandestine "recruiting" for college sororities?? I have only read about this on blogs, but apparently the camper girls rise through the ranks and the college age camp counselors have them earmarked for their sororities. Apparently choosing certain camps practically insure a bid to favored sorority and mothers pick camps based on this criteria.

Also, if you are familiar with James Avery jewelry in Texas, they cater to charm bracelets with campers in mind. They have many general camp charms along with an array of charms that have "special significance" for a particular camp.

BTW..."hello from Louisville"!! I live here too!

Glitterista said...

There isn't much I loved more than camp. Even though there were too many spiders in my bunk, I loved every minute. I would love to send possible future kids to camp as well someday. ;)

pve design said...

I did day camps and my husband did sleep away camps, states away....and my kids have done both. I think having the option is nice and then also having time to just make up summer as it goes and spending time outside. Most children around here are sent to camp the last day of school and are away for 7 weeks. I think I would die....I would miss my kiddos far too much.