A recent article on Kidshealth.org
details how parents can support kids as they transition out of high school and into the next phase of adulthood. But parents aren’t the only ones who can help with this. As the article suggests, your teen can reach out to people within his or her network for informational interviews and professional guidance. Summer camp counselors or administrators are fabulous mentors who have known your children, in some cases, for many, many years. Counselors have often helped many teens through vulnerable moments and watched them rise to positions of leadership over the years. They can offer guidance with both a professional and personal insight, and even provide recommendations for schools, jobs, or other programs to which your child is applying.
Summer Camp Can Direct Kids’ Interests from an Early Age
While many kids start with myriad activities at summer camp (or even myriad summer camps over their three-month break), there is a definite trend of older kids returning year after year to the same programs and curricula. Campers will whittle their early interests from baseball, soccer, basketball, tennis, rock climbing, and water polo down to one or two sports. As the campers get older, the programs become more structured and sophisticated, eventually guiding athletes towards club and scholarship opportunities, if they so choose. The same goes for kids who start out with Legos and clay and wind up as engineers and studio artists. Although not all kids will stick with this same interest into adulthood, summer camp helps kids to focus on and cultivate their passions and become open to new possibilities for educational and professional exploration. In addition to these character-sculpting experiences, this article in KidsHealth also highlights that even if kids don’t stick with the same activities into college, their dedication and movement into leadership roles in their fields of interest are impressive points on any college application or entry-level CV.
Independence at Summer Camp Prepares Kids for the Leap into the “Real World”
The article offers advice on how to balance offering guidance with letting go as your kids explore their options for the future. The author addresses issues like self-sufficiency, financial support, and healthy communication. Kids who have attended summer camps will have already encountered many of these conversations as they stepped into more independent opportunities at a young age. Summer camp provides kids with the chance to explore and find their sense of self in a new environment. This is a smaller version of the precipice that many kids stand upon after high school, and it prepares them to face unknown challenges with confidence.