How Summer Camp can Help Parents Too

By March 2, 2016Uncategorized

How Summer Camp can help parents too.

At the end of January I had the opportunity to hear Dr. Michael Thompson speak at the Ontario Camps Association Annual Conference. Mr. Thompson is a very engaging speaker with a deep seated passion and respect for what summer camps can do for children. He also has a solid understanding of the challenges of being a parent and wants to help parents understand how they can help their children grow up into the independent, caring and wonderful people that they have the potential to become.

Dr Thompson’s talk was based on his book “Homesick and Happy”. In his book he notes that there are eight things that parents can’t do, or find it hard to do, for their children (but wish they could.)

1. We cannot make our children happy.

2. We cannot give our children high self-esteem.

3. We cannot make friends for our children or micromanage their friendships.

4. We cannot successfully double as our child’s agent, manager or coach.

5. We cannot create the “second family” for which our child yearns in order to facilitate his or her growth.

6. It is increasingly apparent that we cannot compete with or limit our children’s total immersion in the online, digital and social media realms.

7. We cannot keep our children perfectly safe, but we can drive them crazy trying.

8. We cannot make our children independent.

While there are all very important parenting goals, they are not all realistically achievable, in the way that Dr. Thompson describes them, for all parents, all the time.

This link to a video (44min) of his talk (at a different venue but nearly identical to the talk I attended) does a good job of explaining how, while we might all want to do these 8 things for our children it isn’t always possible and that sometimes we need to let our children step away from us to grow.

Here at Camp Kintail we have been helping kids to spread their wings, challenge themselves and find success and independence for decades and want to partner with you to help your child grow.


Peter “Echo” Godwin