As a parent, I struggle with the gift-giving of the Holiday Season. We have too much stuff as it is! In fact, I always joke I would have another child if they did not require any items that will be left around the house. If the last couple of years has taught us anything, would it not be that we flourish with meaningful experiences and connections, not things?
One gift you should consider for your child this year is summer camp! It may seem underwhelming since it is not the latest Apple product, listed at the top of the Amazon Holiday Gift Guide, or recommended by influencers on TikTok and Instagram. Getting your child unplugged, out exploring nature, and making worthwhile connections with others will do more for their self-esteem and well-being than any latest gadget you can buy.
Summer camp has a way of shaping a young person’s psyche that simply cannot be replicated in school or at home. By taking youth out of a familiar setting and having them learn teamwork and communication skills away from their parents and classmates, they discover and nurture a part of themselves that aids in healthy development. Trying out new hobbies, learning valuable outdoor skills, and making new friends free of peer pressure in a fun environment are all conducive to building up a healthier, happier child.
Before filling your online shopping cart or running around town to every nearby retail store, give some thought to what you value for your family. What is going to be a gift that gives back, that will provide building blocks for what is next in life, and that will promote independence, confidence, and growth? Summer Camp.