December 5, 2006
Training wheels for sleep away camp
Just as parents attach training wheels to a two wheeler in order to provide a safe and easy transition from a tricycle to a bicycle they can now do the same to prepare their children for summer camp. American Camp Association accredited Family Camps offer children the opportunity to attend a week long camp away from home for the first time with their parents and siblings.
Pam Ehrenreich’s two children, ages 7 & 9, specifically asked their mom to find a sleep away camp that they could all attend together. After doing extensive research on the web Pam, from Ellicott City MD, settled on Medomak Camp, located in the mid-coast area of Maine. After attending a week of camp together this past summer Pam now feels her children are ready to try their wings and attend a camp solo next summer.
Family camp is a perfect opportunity for children to gain a sense of what camp is. They learn what to expect and what is expected of them. At Medomak kids attend morning activities with other campers their own age, such as archery, tennis and sailing. After lunch the entire family spends time together at the sandy cove lakeside. Fathers and daughters fish together, siblings’ tye-dye shirts, and parents read that neglected novel while their children swim under the watchful eye of the lifeguards.
While the kids get to try on camp, the parents also get the opportunity to see what safety measures and procedures are in place as well as the level of professionalism in the staff that camps strive for. Camp training wheels is a safety net that is a win-win situation for families. Parents and kids get to rid any insecurity they might have about sleep away camp while having a memorable fun family vacation together.
That wind in your face feeling when riding a bike independently at full speed is the same freedom children feel at camp when paddling their own kayak, hitting the bulls eye or receiving thunderous applause for a campfire skit. It is at this moment parents realize that the training wheels are ready to come off.
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Our second summer at Medomak, we just couldn't stay away! I only wish we could stay longer. My children and their camp friends were practically inseparable and the laughter and childlike enthusiasm was a wonderful thing to behold. We are all looking forward to coming back next year!