The summer fun….has just begun?
Wow, what a summer it has been. From the minis to the Lacrosse campers, this summer was packed full of fun-filled and unique experiences for all. Campers took on everything from sports to computer science, cooking, and even entrepreneurship! They explored paths that were not only fun but also full of activities enriched by experiential education. They will leave this summer with lasting memories that will carry them through the coming year. Not only should our Pingry campers leave with these memories but also use the grounding practices and new abilities they developed this summer. As we go into the school year, it is important that campers leave camp knowing they will be able to lean into these activities throughout the year to come.
From my past experiences I know that leaving summer camp is a huge dagger to the heart. After the age of 11, I would leave camp and cry for about two straight days, so much so that by the second day of my PCD (post camp depression) my parents would start to take offense to my tears. I think what really got to me was the idea that I would not have that experience again for an entire year. When you are young, a year feels like a lifetime. Part of this feeling was not being able to do the activities I so desperately loved and felt good at. I also did these activities with the people I loved doing it with, my camp friends! While there were parts of school I felt confident and capable in, as a child I always felt most confident in activities that did not take place within the four walls of my classroom. The social energy of camp is where I thrived and activities like cooking, basketball, capturing the flag and team building is when I was most in my element. I looked forward to camp reunions because I knew I would have a chance to be the best version of myself. I wish I explored these activities more outside of camp and really developed my abilities in them. I think this would have given me more confidence in and outside of the classroom.
For campers who have a hard time sitting still, they might be struggling with the idea of giving up their summer fun. My suggestion to help remedy these looming emotions is that they shouldn’t give it up! Your child chose to explore and dive deep into an activity for a reason and just because the designated time for them to hone it has ended, doesn’t mean that they should stop exploring it. As we learn more about development, we know to lean into what makes developing minds feel confident and able. The idea that learning can only take place within school classrooms is antiquated and delays possible benefits for young people. Leaning into the activities that make summer so fun and enriching is one way to continue social-emotional and experiential learning processes. This year, develop a plan for how you will integrate some of your child’s favorite aspects of summer into their whole year. Don’t be like my parents who dealt with my PCD all year-long.