Sunday Snippet: Letting Go for Their Own Good
As we settle into the winter season at Camp WeHaKee, there is a bit of time to reflect on all the good that happens for each girl during her time at camp. It is virtually impossible to capture and quantify all the high quality moments each girl experiences, but we know they are happening when we see the smiles and hear the laughter that signal the satisfaction of success.
We commend all of the parents who have taken a leap of faith in sending their children to us at WeHaKee Camp for Girls over the years! Much has been written, said and researched as to the benefits of loosening the reins and letting your children go on the independent adventure that is camp. At WeHaKee girls learn to be independent as they handle cleaning their own space, making their own bed, managing their own personal hygiene, selecting their own choice of foods at meals and most importantly, stepping out to meet their own new friends.
And they learn new skills – we are not talking about mastering the j-stroke in a canoe or learning to successfully throw a pot on the wheel! No… new skills like how to use a broom and dust pan effectively, how to pick up a piece of trash that isn’t theirs, how to wait until their whole cabin is back at the table to begin eating, how to lead a prayer in front of a large group and how to take pride in being a member of a unique community of girls and young women!
My Daughter Went Away to Camp and Changed
John Dickerson, July 22, 2013, Slate
We often think of the parents we speak with hesitant parents, who despite their daughters’ interest, decide they just can’t let go of them enough to send them to camp. Comments such as too shy, too quiet, too young often masked the parents fear of not having their child nearby for 2 whole weeks. The love of a child is a powerful thing and at times can be quite misleading, particularly in this age of consumption and immediate gratification – it’s no wonder it seems increasingly difficult to let them go!
The old saying (often heard during our way past adolescent angst when our first ‘love’ drifts away!) “If you love something, let it go…” is even truer (and quite possibly more painful!) when it comes to parenting! It is our job to help our children acquire the skills and confidence to navigate their world successfully, but we must also give them the opportunity to practice and refine their skills on their own. And that’s hard to do when a parent is hovering nearby!
A camp experience, like WeHaKee, is the perfect testing ground for girls to try out their developing independence skills as well as to acquire new approaches to help expand their repertoire. At camp, they have the freedom to let their true selves out, but within the safe and nurturing care of counselors who are also experiencing the next wave of independence as college students. In short they get it and can help their campers get it too!
Thank you to all of our WeHaKee parents who have shared their daughters with us over the years. We hope we have sent back girls with a stronger sense of independence and confidence along with a greater commitment to responsibility and service to others. And to the parents that weren’t quite ready to send their daughters off to camp, we will be here for you next summer!