Towering Pines Blog

We Give Thanks for Camp!

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Happy Turkey Day from Cabin 5!

In this season of Giving Thanks, the boys from Cabin 5 show their thanks for spending a summer at camp (see poster)!  Campers are not the only ones who are grateful for the opportunity to be at Towering Pines for 6-weeks.  According to a recent blog from the Huffington Post, Pennsylvania camp owners, Mitch and Stephanie Reiter, note that parents are thankful for the many things the camp experience offers for their children as well.

It’s amazing what a summer at camp can do for the 1st year camper.  If you multiply that by the number of years that your son has been (or will be) at Towering Pines, the results are astronomical!  Here are just a FEW changes your son may exhibit after spending a summer at camp:

1. The willingness to try new things: Perhaps you noticed that your camper expanded his palette after camp and was willing to branch out and try new foods.  If your son asks you to make Jambalaya, then that is a sure sign that he tried it at camp and added it to his list of favorite dishes.  Maybe your son decided to try out for an athletic team, join a music group, or take part in an extracurricular club this fall that he had never shown an interest in before.  You can bet that he gained confidence and independence this summer and is now able to expand his horizons and try something new and different at home!

TP RopesTrying Something New

2. Pride in taking care of themselves: Did you have trouble getting your child up in the morning or motivated to get dressed, make his bed and do some basic chores around the house before he went off to camp?  Many parents are in disbelief (or shock!) once their child returns from camp because they now take the initiative to do those things on their own.  Being part of a community who lives together at camp, campers learn to pitch in and take care of their group space because there is no one else there to do it for them.  The counselors model this expectation, and it becomes part of the daily culture and routine.  Heck, your son may even grab the broom and help clean-up after dinner!

TPCookoutLearning to Cook

3. Respect for home and family: One of the cool things about Towering Pines/Woodland is that we have a large number of siblings who are able to share a common camp experience either on the same campus or just a few miles down the road from each other.  It can be comforting to know that you have a brother or sister a few minutes away when you are coming to camp for the first time.  Even though your children exhibit sibling “rivalry” while they are at home, that typically disappears at camp.  The older campers tend to to look out for their younger sibling(s) when everyone is away from Mom and Dad.  Fourth of July, TP Fair, Woodland Fair, and Co-Ed Show are events where we purposefully bring Woodland and Towering Pines campers together so they can have some “family” time.

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4. Appreciation for rest time:  Since we are completely “unplugged” for the entire camp experience, your camper will have learned how to fill their minutes of down time with alternative activities such as reading a book, playing cards, writing letters, making a lanyard, or a multitude of other things.  One of the most coveted times during the camp day is rest hour; what’s not to like about an hour after lunch to kick back and relax before skipping off to the afternoon’s activity choices?  The whole world would be a better place if everyone took a rest hour every day!

Playing CardsNew Pastime – Playing Cards!

5. Awareness and connection to life around them:  Camp offers the opportunity for kids to have a 360-degree view of the world (instead of what they see on a screen).   Your son(s) have face-to-face interactions with each other all day long and have to work at getting along, even when conflicts arise.  They connect with others and learn how to navigate those relationships without hiding behind a text message or other form of social media.  Living in the out-of-doors in Wisconsin for 6 weeks also affords the opportunity to see an eagle fly overhead, hear the loons calling to one another across the lake, smell the aroma of a burning campfire, feel the softness of moss “pillows” after taking a hike to the Moss Garden, and experience the taste of new flavors in our home-cooked meals.

WOW – we certainly have a lot to be thankful for!  If you would like to read the original article from the Huffington Post, click here.

Moss GardenCabin 7 at Moss Garden