An insightful and powerful look at the magic of summer campâ€”and why it is so important for children to be away from home . . . if only for a little while.
In an age when itâ€™s the rare child who walks to school on his own, the thought of sending your â€ślittle onesâ€ť off to sleep-away camp can be overwhelmingâ€”for you and for them. But parentsâ€™ first instinctâ€”to shelter their offspring above all elseâ€”is actually depriving kids of the major developmental milestones that occur through letting them goâ€”and watching them come back transformed.
In Homesick and Happy, renowned child psychologist Michael Thompson, PhD, shares a strong argument for, and a vital guide to, this brief loosening of ties. A great champion of summer camp, he explains how camp ushers your children into a thrilling world offering an environment that most of us at home cannot: an electronics-free zone, a multigenerational community, meaningful daily rituals like group meals and cabin clean-up, and a place where time simply slows down. In the buggy woods, icy swims, campfire sing-alongs, and daring adventures, children have emotionally significant and character-building experiences; they often grow in ways that surprise even themselves; they make lifelong memories and cherished friends. Thompson shows how children who are away from their parents can be both homesick and happy, scared and successful, anxious and exuberant. When kids go to campâ€”for a week, a month, or the whole summerâ€”they can experience some of the greatest maturation of their lives, and return more independent, strong, and healthy.