School, sports, after-school activities, birthday parties and social commitments - all of these things compete for your child’s energy and attention on a daily basis. And now that kids are hopping on social media at increasingly younger ages, the pressure to participate can become fierce early on. All those images of friends playing sports, hanging out at a pool party or posing together in a gleeful gaggle may cause your child to feel like their schedule doesn’t quite measure up.
We’ve all seen it: the parent who stands on the sidelines criticizing the decisions made by coaches and officials; the one who yells at their own child when they make a mistake; the fan that hurls rude remarks to the opposing team; and the parent who always places blame. Some of us have even had the misfortune of witnessing brawls.
Sleep-away camp was just what Ally needed in order to gain independence and confidence, marvels her mom, Sharon. “She found a whole new group of girls, and had a ball. She’s had a hard time with girls beginning in Grade 4,” says Sharon, “so it was great for her to bond with girls in a different setting.” Starting at age nine, Ally went away to camp for a week. The following summer, she begged to go back for four weeks. Her parents were delighted.
At 10, Ravit Pearlman is a veteran camper. She started going to overnight camp just before her seventh birthday, and she comes from what her mom, Sacha Reich, enthusiastically describes as a ‘camp family.’ Her dad, Aaron Pearlman, went to the same camp as a boy and later became a counselor there. Asked what she looks forward to at summer camp, Ravit doesn’t hesitate, “Seeing my friends again!” Her eyes sparkle as she eagerly outlines the scene: canoeing, the ropes course, bonding with the counselors, whispering to her cabin mates after dark.
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