Towering Pines Blog

“Own it!”

There can be a lot of ups and downs in a summer at camp, just as there are ups and downs at home and in life in general.  There are times when we are feeling great and flying high on a wave of inspiration and times when we lack energy and struggle to find our way.  This is true not only of adults but of campers too.

When you think about it, although camp is this amazingly spectacular and even magical place, it may not feel that way every single day.  In fact, the feeling can change from one moment to the next. Campers go through the same up and down phases that adults do, and at times, it may seem like a camper is riding on an emotional roller coaster.  One minute, they are upbeat and laughing, and the next minute, they are sitting quietly, eyes filled with tears, saying they want to go home.


There can be a plethora of reasons for the emotional roller coaster that a camper experiences.   It could be that someone said something that created hurt feelings. Maybe something didn’t go well in an activity, and they feel a sense of failure.  Perhaps, they are tired from a canoe trip the night before and nothing seems quite right.  And yes, they might even be missing their mom and dad, siblings or the family pet. The list of reasons is endless, and often times it can lead to the camper contemplating those dreaded words, “I want to go home.”

Viewing this emotional phenomenon as a “ camp mom” has given me a totally new perspective on this.  We must
carefully decipher these words “I want to go home” and take them in context rather than in the literal sense.  These words can mean so many different things depending on the moment.  Part of camp is that we must trust the process, and part of this process is allowing our children the opportunity to find their way back to the top of the roller coaster.  So how do we do this?  As another parent recently said, each camper needs to “own it!”   The words that this mom shared are so simple and yet so incredibly powerful!!


In other words, each camper needs to “OWN their summer. and OWN their experiences.”  They need to have the chance to make the decision to keep going even when they are doubting themselves and the situation.  They need to learn to trust that when things are a bit hard or they are feeling lonely, they can keep going and even end up having a spectacular time!



Notice, that I said that THEY need to own it; I didn’t say WE as parents need to own it.  That’s tough because the natural thing for us to want to do is pick our children up, brush them off, and help them get back on the horse. So how do we support our campers from afar?  We tell them that we believe in them and that we know they can do it!!  We give them space to spread their wings, and we trust in the camp process.  The staff at TP is awesome, and they are here giving your camper every opportunity possible to OWN their own adventures and become stronger and more confident boys!

Angie Wenzl Ziller

  • Camp Mom at TP
  • Office Manager at TP
  • Marketing TP/Woodland
  • Assistant Waterfront Director at Woodland
  • Counselor at Woodland