Let Your Child Grow Beyond You

by Karen Meister

YOU MUST TAKE A FEW MINUTES TO READ THIS AMAZING STORY.

As you know by now, I am a complete and firm believer in the value of the right summer camp experience.  I believe as a parent, you provide strong roots at home that represent your character and desire for your children as they enter into society.  And by sending your child to the right camp, especially when they are away for the whole summer, you are giving them the wings to confidently practice what they have been taught at home.  You are saying to your child:

“I believe in you and that you will be successful on your own.  Go and make the world a better place.  Goodbye!”

And so, I share the following story from one of my clients who was hesitant but interested in venturing into camp beyond the tried and true, beyond where the neighbor goes.  They were interested, but fearful,  in finding a place where their son could soar;  letting him go to be all that he could be.  Although it will take a few minutes to read, please read this lovely story.

I share, with the family’s permission, the story of Christian, as she has told it.

When your kid is away from home and you get an unscheduled, unexpected call from camp, your heart starts to race a bit.  ”Hello?”

“Hi, this is the Camp Director. Don’t worry, Christian is fine. Nothing has happened. Are you with your husband?”

“No, I’m out picking up school uniforms, but I can conference him in.”

“Yes, I think you should do that.”

Conference call initiated and the Camp Director said:

“In 25-30 years, I’ve never seen anything like it. I’m still getting emotional thinking about it. As you know, we are in the middle of Color War. Christian’s age group had a big softball game this afternoon. His team is behind in overall points, but if they got a win, the softball game would be a good place to close the gap. The whole camp was there to watch.

“There’s a little boy here from China. He’s not very athletic. And the other team’s coach put him first in the lineup. And he had two strikes. I was calling the game and gave permission for the coach to come in and help him swing the bat.

“So he gets a hit. And it goes straight to Christian, who is pitching. Christian’s a heck of a ball player. I don’t need to tell you this. Simple play for him to grab the ball and toss it to first. Easy out.

“But Christian saw this kid and made a play straight from the heart. He easily fielded the ball, turned, and threw it as hard as he could into the outfield, keeping the ball in play, so the little boy could round the bases for a home run before the ball could be thrown back to the plate.

“The whole camp saw it. He never once let the little boy know he did it on purpose. So tonight, I stood up in front of the whole camp and awarded Christian the ‘Hugeness Award’ while still keeping the secret, so as not to taint the other boy’s home run. Christian is an amazing kid with a huge heart.”

After I dried my tears, I thought THIS is why summer camp is so important. It has taught my uber-competitive kid that “winning” comes in many forms. I am so grateful that we can give him this opportunity and so so so proud of him!  And so happy that I worked with Karen in finding just the perfect camp for my son to really spread his wings.

And I cried too.  Because when a child is successful, AND the parent shares, it makes my job so worthwhile.  Thank you to all who have shared with me over the years!

Karen Meisterin partnership with Joanne Paltrowitz, works with the international consulting firm, Camp Experts and Teen Summers.  Feel free to contact Karen for complimentary assistance at Karen@CampExperts.com or 305.931.KiDS or 305.931.5437.  Thousands of families have received confidential and complimentary guidance to select the best camp and teen programs from around the world.  Karen is also the Founder of the LifeMeisters.

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