Growing up in a suburb of Toronto with a predominantly European community, we didn’t hear much about “going off to camp”. Most of our moms stayed at home to raise us; the only consideration over the summer holidays was how late we’d be able to play outside before our parents started hollering about our bedtimes.
However, as times changed and cultural norms shifted, one by one, our mothers returned (or entered) the workforce. By then, many of us were old enough to care for ourselves during the day, but a handful were whisked away to camp for the summer.
It sounded magical.
A chance to meet new people and form lasting friendships. An opportunity to develop a sense of responsibility and pride in oneself. A fun way to learn new skills and build confidence. I promised myself then and there that when I had children, I would do everything in my power to provide them with a summer camp experience.
Of course, I have two boys who are now the perfect age for summer camp. But, being a mom, I also realize that not all kids are ready for an away-from-home experience. My oldest, who still has a touch of social anxiety, and my youngest, who has not yet learned to control his impulses, would not necessarily make the best candidates for full-fledged overnight camp. But what if there was an alternative – a summer camp that allowed kids to absorb the benefits of camp during the day, while allowing them to sleep in their own bed at night?
Friends, I’ve found the answer: Day camp! …