Sometimes being away from home and people you know can make a child anxious. Transitions through out the year can reveal the challenges of letting go of the parental unit. One of the best things about a summer camp experience is gaining independence from parents as children grow into independent individuals.

At summer camp kids grow in so many ways, no doubt about it. It is also a great place for them to form relationships with other authoritative, yet not nearly as threatening, figures: camp counselors. The relationship between a camper and counselor is so important because it is a chance for children to build a friendship with someone who inspires them. Campers usually view counselors more as friends than disciplinarians. There is a certain trust that is formed between the camper and counselor, because children respect counselors in a different way. It is a real special bond created, as campers often look at counsellors as peers.

Campers may come to camp nervous or a little scared, but once connections with their counselors are made, campers not only become more excited to come to camp but are more enthusiastic about trying new things, having new experiences and make new friends.

Camp is a special place where it’s all about being yourself, and that includes counselors, too. Counselors can be big kids. It’s not so rigid, like it might be at school or at home, and the counselors have the freedom to bond with kids in a number of ways. The laid-back nature of camp really fosters a great relationship between counselors and campers. In school, kids are held to certain expectations, it’s a results driven environment. At camp it’s all about fun. No pressure, no results. At camp, all we are care about is socio-emotional development, having fun, personal growth, and independence.

Children love to learn, but they get tired of being taught by adults,” says Michael Thompson, Ph.D., the author of Homesick and Happy: How Time Away from Parents Can Help a Child Grow. “Children want to learn from older children, and, at a camp that means older campers, CITs (counselors in training), and camp counselors. They want to live with them, emulate them, absorb them. In our age-segregated society, camp is the only place in America where an 11-year-old can get the sustained attention of a 19-year-old. In return for the attention of these ‘older children,’ campers will make sacrifices. They will follow all kinds of rules and adhere to all kinds of rituals that they would likely fight at home.”

If you’re at all anxious about sending your children to camp, rest assured that they will probably grow leaps and bounds by the end of the summer with the help of their new friends. Gear up to offer your child a great experience this summer. Register for on all amazing 8 weeks at Kumbuka Summer Camp this summer!

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