Entries for December 2016
My Mom Made Me Go To Camp (Thanks Mom!)
…and it was one of the best things that ever happened!
When I was a kid there was a disagreement in my house about whether my brother and I would go to camp. In this case I’m talking about sleep-away camp. We were already attending a local day camp and sports camps too.
My mom wanted me to go to camp and my dad…not so much. The reasons why were obvious for each of them. My mom had gone to camp and my dad hadn’t. She “got it” and he had never had the chance.
One of the things I thank my parents for now, and it took me well into adulthood to understand (and being a dad helps too), is that they made these types of decisions for me. When they knew something was good for me, even if I didn’t, they would decide for me…make me do things. Every parent does this with small things; eating vegetables, going to bed early, brushing teeth, doing homework. I appreciated that my parents did this with larger things too; auditioning for the city chorus (embarrassing), trying out for the better soccer league or baseball all-star team (nerve-wracking), and going to camp (terrifying).
The Solar System Metaphor
Social development and the creation of a shared identity in the cabin.
Camp Hawkeye is great for growth, learning, friends, independence, maturity, self-realization, differentiation, and FUN. Let’s take growth and learning as it relates to social development and group skills for now and focus on one piece of the puzzle here at Hawkeye:
THE CABIN GROUP
Even more specifically I want to share about the development of a group identity within the bunk. By bringing together lots of different campers from lots of different places with lots of different backgrounds you can end up with kids sitting around thinking about…well…how different they are. This is why it is vital to provide them with a set of shared experiences, create a sense of camaraderie and acceptance, and, foster a sense of ownership over the physical and social cabin space.
One metaphor we use to discuss this process of group identity development is the Solar System Metaphor.
This is something we discuss with staff and also with parents too to do three things:
1. Demonstrate more concretely the idea of the cabin group