Camp – With/Without A Friend

by Karen Meister

Whether for religious reasons or just purposeful soul searching, we all look forward to the “do-over”.  Apologize, forgive, forget and do better.  And the same goes for our children and hence, the annual escape for a child to their summer home.  Towards the end of June, a child embarks on a new beginning for seven weeks.    The transgressions and mishaps of the previous summer are wiped clean, the positive memories and warm feelings are retained, and the fabulous summer home awaits.

A new year!  A new summer!

So…  off to camp with a friend or without a friend?  I always vote for “go it alone” if at all possible.

When your child goes off to camp without a hometown friend, they may be uncomfortable for the first 20 minutes.  The unknown of their new summer home can be overwhelming.  And yet, with proper selection and preparation, those 20 minutes will be exciting rather than scary.  Your child will be free to:

  • select the type of camp that is just perfect without having to consider others’ needs
  • explore new activities and learn and fail successfully
  • enter the social laboratory of making friends without having someone looking over your shoulder
  • be responsible for themselves alone without the baggage of a friend from home
  • make new friends because they must
  • come home with stories of success and let the failures be part of learning without constant reminder or embarrassment
  • expand their worlds to friends outside of their hometown, and
  • look forward to returning to their special summer home the following summer.

Think about your child’s summer as an opportunity every year to start afresh.  In the words of Queen Elsa, your child can “Let It Go”  as well as start over every summer.

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 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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