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Attachment parenting and summer camp - Page 7

post #121 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
Murdering all the campers is bad for business, honest.
True.

I'd still keep my kids home though. That's just me though. There is something not right with the no phone calls (unless emergency) policy.
post #122 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
Murdering all the campers is bad for business, honest.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Britishmum View Post
I think it is most odd to deny kids the use of a phone. And I'm wondering how that works anyway in this day and age of cellphones.
A lot of camps in North America are located in places with no or limited cellphone reception.

Personally, as a Canadian, one of the things that keeps me sane is getting away from the constant connectedness once in a while by going backwoods camping. Although it is diminishing, we do have lots of areas that are not accessible by road, nor are they reachable by cellphone. And you can bet that they don't have payphones, either. A lot of the camps here do multi-day trips (canoeing, hiking, etc.) into such areas. Usually the trips start at four days for the youngest campers, and go up to several weeks for young teens.

I think your example of a payphone at camp is a function of geography -- small, densely-populated areas vs. large, sparsely populated areas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth View Post
I am desperate for somebody to agree with me. Nobody agreed with me in another thread so I am starting this one.
[...]
Help, I need your comments even if you disagree with me.
Ruth, if I can take it back to your OP for a moment, why are you desperate for someone to agree with you? What purpose does that serve? If lots of people agree with you, are you going to pull your daughter from the camp? Will it make you feel better?

I hope you find a solution that works for you and your daughter.
post #123 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by karne View Post
In my experience, the way this happens is that the camp requests that children do not bring electronic equipment from home to camp. This includes electronic hand held games, pagers and cell phones. I personally think it's more of a problem that we expect our children to have access to these electronic communication devices, while presumably they are having a wonderful, nature based camp experience. Am I the only one who sees the disconnect here?
I see the disconnect. It makes about as much sense as bringing a generator and a bunch of plug in amenities camping with you and your family (and yes there are people that do that). I mean, is it really necissary for most people to bring a hair dryer or an outdoor heater camping?

And yeah, when we go camping as a family, it means no electricity except in the form of double A batteries for the flashlight so DH doesn't step on me when he gets up to go to the bathroom (happened once )
post #124 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post
I see the disconnect. It makes about as much sense as bringing a generator and a bunch of plug in amenities camping with you and your family (and yes there are people that do that). I mean, is it really necissary for most people to bring a hair dryer or an outdoor heater camping?

And yeah, when we go camping as a family, it means no electricity except in the form of double A batteries for the flashlight so DH doesn't step on me when he gets up to go to the bathroom (happened once )
I see the disconnect,too, but not everyone does.. its all in the perception and your experiences..

I lived in a campground for 3 or 4 summers. When I think of camping, i do NOT think of a campground. Anywhere with indoor plumbing and showers is not camping in my book...but for some, thats roughing it. So when ds is at camp, he spends most of his time actually away from camp, hiking, canoeing etc. There are no motorized boats, the cabins are exttremely primative and as the kids get older they actually stay in lean-tos . (when they're not on the top of a mountain somewhere). Anything less than that, for our lifestyle and how we live...well, he may as well stay at home. The cell phone policy doesn't matter cuz they don't work anyway.. but the kids are allowed to bring a gameboy or an ipod.... most don't have time to use them anyway.

I'm glad Ruth is letting her dd go to camp and i understand the worry...
post #125 of 151
I always feel the agree that this thread sort of turned into a pile-on, but I just wanted to add my two cents.

I went to camp for 4 years, starting when I was 10, and the only time I was ever homesick would be after my parents visited. I went for 7 weeks, and parents were allowed up on Sundays and mine would make the 9 hour (each way!) drive to see us once or twice a year. And even though I was having a great time and rarely gave them a second thought, seeing them would make me miss home, and my cat, and my friends. It would normally take a day or two to recover. I agree that contact home usually makes things worse.

Secondly, I used to work in the main office of a camp, and if kids are homesick enough, we'd let them call. To be totally honest, I think being allowed to do something that was against the rules was really what would make them happy and secure at camp! Seriously. They'd go off so smug, promising not to tell other campers they had called, and we'd never hear homesickness again from them (though their parents would be calling 3x a day for the rest of the session...).

Thirdly, I want to say that my sister was one of those 7 year old campers (actually, she turned 7 a few weeks into it camp her first year... they let her go at 6 because I was going too) and she had an absolute BLAST. Went for 10 years, and is still best friends with so many of her camp friends. When they're ready really depends on the kid: I would have been a wreck at 7! Plus, the youngest campers are soooo spoiled by all the older campers. I don't think my sister walked anywhere that first summer: she was always being carried by one of the CITs, having her hair done by an older camper, people would make her little things in Arts and Crafts because she was so cute. It was kind of a blow to her the next year when she was displaced as the youngest, cutest camper! I know this has nothing to do with anything, but I've had this conversation with more than one person, and I can see why you'd be horrified at a kid that young being sent off for 7 weeks, but I promise my sister was not some neglected, emotionally void, abandoned child: she BEGGED to go, and knew EXACTLY what she wanted, and it really worked out for her.

Finally, I want to say that camp is such a great experience. I didn't love it, but I learned so much: not just practical stuff (I was the only one at the end of the year competition who could start a campfire with only a single log that had been soaked in water for 3 days and a book of matches, in under 10 minutes! I remain confident that at some point in my life, this skill will come in handy...) but also about myself, and emotional resources. I met kids from all over the country, and there were even some international campers. Though camp wasn't as meaningful to me as it was to my sister, thanks to the wonders of Facebook I've gotten back in touch with tons of people from camp, and it's such a great shared experience.
post #126 of 151
OP, I understand where you are coming from and want you to know that I agree with you. I believe it IS unnatural.

My daughter had the opportunity last summer at age 13 to receive a generous scholarship to an overnight camp in our state. The scholarship required a minimum stay of 3 weeks at the camp in order to qualify. My daughter thought it was very strange that she would not be allowed to contact me by phone at all during her stay there and she ultimately decided that she didn't want to do it. The camp also had a rule of no cell phones allowed.

Attachment parenting of an older child, to me, means that the attachment serves to ensure that the child's needs are met. When the child is not sure of what to do about something or what their options are, knowing they can reach out and get support and information from their parent can help them to feel more confident in the world. My daughter is my firstborn and very independent, but she knows that not all adults (camp counselors, teachers, etc.) have the same values and perceptions, so she takes comfort in being able to reach out to me, her greatest advocate, when she needs to (in addition to or instead of seeking support elsewhere). It comes down to having access.

I love the feeling of her coming to me for what she needs, being able to help her (which isn't always possible, of course) and then her rushing off to go 'do it herself'. It's a more-sophisticated version of what they're like when they're three.
post #127 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post
I would expect my husband to all ready be independant. I'm not going to marry someone if they can't take care of themselves.

And as I pointed out (in the other thread I believe), sometimes a husband and wife do need to be seperated from each other with limited contact for various reasons. When DH spent six months working out of town, we didn't contact each other every single day.
Right. Both I and my husband have already gone through our "learning to be independent humans" phase of life, which is necessary to grow into a mature adult.

Both I and my husband are in/have been in jobs that require business travel. Until we had the child, neither of us felt it was necessary to call home every night while we were on the trip. My husband was in Japan for two weeks back at the end of the 1990s, and since it was so expensive to call and they were so overwhelmed with work, he called once during those two weeks.

Now with le kid, we do try to call home before his bedtime while on a business trip--but that's for the kid, not for the spouse. His needs are different from ours.
post #128 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by May May View Post
OP, I understand where you are coming from and want you to know that I agree with you. I believe it IS unnatural.

My daughter had the opportunity last summer at age 13 to receive a generous scholarship to an overnight camp in our state. The scholarship required a minimum stay of 3 weeks at the camp in order to qualify. My daughter thought it was very strange that she would not be allowed to contact me by phone at all during her stay there and she ultimately decided that she didn't want to do it. The camp also had a rule of no cell phones allowed.
I totally appreciate that you are doing what is right for your family and that's great. But to me, it is actually really sad that your daughter chose to give all that up because she felt she wouldn't be able to make decisions in a controlled environment over a three week period; that other people in the world wouldn't also be able to offer their advice and perspective; and that if she were truly distressed there wouldn't be an exception made.
post #129 of 151
OP: After reading the whole thread now, having been both a camper and a counselor, I'm going to offer this opinion. No, you probably shouldn't send your daughter away to this camp. Not because she's not ready--I'm not in a position to judge that--but because YOU'RE not ready and after what I've seen pass here, she knows it.

The worst cases of homesickness always are kids who are not allowing themselves to enjoy, because they understand they are supposed to be miserable. Their misery comes from the conflict between their recognition that this is fun, and their feeling that finding it fun and enjoying the independence it offers is some type of betrayal of their parents.
post #130 of 151
Ruth, i am SO WITH YOU.

You know whats best for your daughter. If there's a rule about no phone calls, break it. Get a cell phone, text message.

Its stupid rule. How can you ban all contact wiht parents for , was it, 10 WHOLE DAYS?

I dont have experience with camps as my own kids are too young. But i dont like the attitude of teachers who think they know better than you as the parent. At that age, i would not have liked being away that long. Its TOO LONG. At 13, i went away for a weekend. A couple of days is one thing, but did you say, 10 days? Thats way too long.

At 17, i went away with my father for 10 days. I got home sick.(or rather, missed mum) I was 17!!

I didnt leave my screaming/separation anxious child at preschool even though the teachers advised it. I stayed the whole time.

As a parent, you have a big responsability. You have to think for yourself. You cant always trust the advice of teachers, doctors etc.

If they are afraid the children will get homesick, maybe its because they shouldnt be away so long.

Give your kid a cell phone, and tell her she can contact you when she wants.

ps didnt read other posts yet.....

pps.ok just read the posts about technology, no signal
etc...no, i think the rule is terrible. If a kid wants to talk to their parents, let them! It sounds like some sort of cult...the teachers -and -guide-counsellors-and-peer- group-knows-best-cult

ppps-about the 'just dont sent you kid to camp' advice...oh, so a child misses out on a good opportunity because of some ridiculous rule about no phone contact? Oh, and 'youre just not ready as parent' ....advice, give me a break ....

Ruth,trust your intincts
post #131 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heavenly View Post
You said it yourself, it would just not to be possible to allow all of the children to do that. It would take hours every day to let each child phone home. If you aren't comfortable with that then maybe it is best to keep her home. I was 11 when I started to go to overnight camp and I did just fine. I had a blast being away from my parents! Personally, I probably won't feel comfortable letting my children go to overnight camp, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there.
*nod*

I went to Girl Scout camp & other camps (overnight) every Summer starting at age 8 - I also ended up being a Camp Counselor when I was a teenager. I had a BLAST, and I wasn't able to call my mom unless it was an emergency, but I could have cared less. I would say my mom was AP before there was a name for it, but I think that's part of the reason I was so independent and actually cried when I had to *leave* camp rather than being homesick when I was there. I sent postcards to my mom, and I enjoyed getting mail from her, but it definitely would have been too much time consumed for every kid to be able to telephone their parents.

Part of it is also that at camp you are supposed to get away from technology and modern things such as phone, TV, computer, etc. From my experience as a Counselor, I can definitely say that most camps are *very* picky about interviewing and hiring counselors (and they have to get CPR & First Aid as well as other extensive training), so your daughter should be in great hands!
post #132 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
I totally appreciate that you are doing what is right for your family and that's great. But to me, it is actually really sad that your daughter chose to give all that up because she felt she wouldn't be able to make decisions in a controlled environment over a three week period; that other people in the world wouldn't also be able to offer their advice and perspective; and that if she were truly distressed there wouldn't be an exception made.
I agree.
post #133 of 151
Every camp I went to had that policy--and broke it if a kid was super-homesick and just talking with a friendly face didn't help. They also had a policy of calling instantly if there were any real problems.

I didn't go to a summer camp until I was 11, and I had no interest in calling home. But would've felt guilty for not calling if there'd been a camp policy of letting kids line up for the phone.
post #134 of 151
Well, for us, the process of gaining clarity through the contemplation of what was and wasn't right for us lead to some wonderful new opportunities that perhaps we would not have found if we'd just settled for the traditional camp dealio. My daughter ended up going on some really cool adventures for these week-long backpacking/mountain-climbing excursions into the wilderness with 2 adult leaders taking small groups of 6-10 kids. Most of the participants, including the adult leaders, were old friends of ours/hers so that felt really good. And the kids were "allowed" to call whenever there was a cell signal, which turned out to be about two or three times each week. So it was a win-win for my daughter -- she did what was right for her, felt good about it, and ended up finding another opportunity that was much more suited to her interests through doing so.
post #135 of 151
post #136 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by May May View Post
Again, it's simply about accessibility, not exclusivity.
I get it. And I get that it works for you guys and that's great.

But for me, that's just not my goal. In life or in parenting. Of course I want a good relationship with my son, but I don't consider a good relationship to necessarily be him consulting with me in all things. If he does, that's fine. But I wouldn't want him to turn down something he wanted to do simply because he wouldn't have that access to me for a short period of time.

I actually consider it unnatural to be plugged into cell phones all the time, consulting with everyone about everything.

I have very much valued my life experiences going off and being immersed in a new group of people, and also the times I have been alone to make my own decisions. I actually guess my bias is that I believe people need to know their decisions can be good ones, even when there is no one else around to affirm them.

It's just a different point of view.
post #137 of 151
I have not read the entire thread. So I'm just going to reply to the OP.

Do I think it's unnatural for a 7 yr old (and an 11 yr) to have no phone contact with the parents?

Yes.

I can see how it would be logically difficult (impossible if EVERYONE wanted a call), but to do it across the board isn't right (no exceptions) isn't right.

What if the child NEEDs to talk? Just to say hi once?

I went to a sleep away camp in 1977 (I was 8) and I was so excited. Elvis died while I was there. Everyone was yapping about it. I think it was a week camp. Maybe 2 (it did feel very long), I can't remember.

I cried every single day and night. Everyone else around me was fine. I felt very alone and missed my mom (my dad died when I was 4). (So the argument that having phone access make it worse is not true.) I really had a hard time with the ZERO access to parents.

One morning I woke up crying and it was the crack of dawn and the counselors left me outside of the bunk to cry to not to wake everyone up. I don't remember them ever trying to console me. Nice.

They did take me to the Director of the Camp once. He was busy attaching tape to his side arm/chair and couldn't be bothered even making eye contact w/ me during our conversation. Needless to say this interaction didn't make a dent. Wish it did. He never checked in on me again.

I did make one friend. I knew one from school and 2 girls were bullying me whenever I saw them (infrequently). But most of the time I felt very lonely. There was a lot of activity going on, but I wasn't participating once. I remember playing with a tree once (pulling on the long, long branches) and some little girl came up to me and told me I was hurting the trees.

I don't remember writing much. Or getting lots of letters.

At the end of the 2? weeks, EVERYONE was bawling at the bus lines. I was fine. It was bizarre to me that kids were crying everywhere because they were sad camp was over. But I guess these kids were coming back year after year and loved it.

Your 11 year old:

If she is excited - that's normal. If she wants to go, is a self-confident kid, makes friends easily, can handle herself, isn't needy... then I would send her. (But I don't have a 11-yr-old daughter begging to go and I can't say confidently how I would handle it. My kids and their relationship with us is completely different than how I grew up - in a good way.)

Everyone is different.

OP wrote: I am so dying to think that something horrible would happen and I couldn't be there for my only child.

That I don't think will happen. Most camps are well run and well organized and I just doubt anything horrible will happen. My DH was a camp counselor in the mid 1980s for a HORRIBLE camp owner (he fed the kids expired food b/c he was so cheap and one night the counselors raided the shed and sunk that food in the lake) and the parents had no clue. His stories of that summer are so funny, I want him to write a book. The kids would tell the parents, "it's so bad, really" but the parents never believed them. Anyway... DH tells me how he and the other camp counselors rallied together to protect and help the kids through it. Did anything bad happen to any child there (injury or death)? No, b/c other caring (young) adults stepped in.
post #138 of 151
Yes, I do think it's unnatural to prevent a child (of any age, really) from contacting his parents for such a long time frame. My DD is still fairly young, but based on her personality and my experience with her, not to mention my own experience as a child in similar situations, I would not be comfortable with the kind of restricted (only for what the counselors consider emergencies) access the OP described. I can think of any number of situations when a child or even a teenager would wish to talk to a parent but wouldn't feel comfortable to ask a counselor for permission.

I don't think 24/7 access to me is necessary, but some level of accessibility that my DD has control of should be available. I like the pay phone station in the evenings that another PP mentions. My DD isn't the type to consult with me on every little decision even in situations where she is facing a lot of unknowns, but she does sometimes need to connect with me for a bit to ground herself in stressful situations and I've learned to trust that when she feels the need to do that, she REALLY NEEDS it.
post #139 of 151

Extension of summer camp topic - new thread maybe?

I'm so surprised to hear how many MDC mamas have experience with extended summer camps. These camps are EXPENSIVE! Can any of you shed some light on how your parents or you paid for these several week long camp experiences? Did you come from wealthy families? Sell peanuts? Gifts from grandparents?

My son went on a 2 week river rafting Outward Bound trip a few years ago and we got a partial scholarship, but still paid $1000 and had to by a plane ticket to SLC.

So curious. I would love to send my big girls off to camp, but it would break the bank :-)
post #140 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by alllyssa View Post
I'm so surprised to hear how many MDC mamas have experience with extended summer camps. These camps are EXPENSIVE! Can any of you shed some light on how your parents or you paid for these several week long camp experiences? Did you come from wealthy families? Sell peanuts? Gifts from grandparents?

My son went on a 2 week river rafting Outward Bound trip a few years ago and we got a partial scholarship, but still paid $1000 and had to by a plane ticket to SLC.

So curious. I would love to send my big girls off to camp, but it would break the bank :-)
In my case the first year was a gift from both sets of grandparents and my parents. For the second, third, and fourth years I worked during the year babysitting and at the library and my parents & grandparents combined matched me dollar for dollar (I had to save the same amount for university). The camp threw in a small scholarship for my CIT year as well. After that I was a counsellor and was paid. It is $$ for sure, but there was some return on costs like food, entertainment during that time, and trips.
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