She’s only nine years old.
Two weeks is a long time.
That’s a lot of money.
So why am I going to prioritize camp and send my fourth-grade girl for the two-week session?
This was an easy decision for me because I’ve had a long time to think about it. Back in the days when I worked at camp, I spent a lot of time thinking about what camp does best and what value the camp experience has for girls. Of course, it was my job to answer that question and share the answers with prospective parents, but I also loved thinking about it. It’s exciting to think about how God uses the unique environment of camp to disciple girls. Essentially, it comes down to three distinctives:
- Girls spend their time at camp in the midst of God’s creation, far more than they ever do in their normal home routine.
- Girls live in an intense community. There’s no escaping the community at camp, so relationships go deeper and lessons are learned in a shorter time period.
- Girls study God’s Word and live in a community that is ruled by God’s standards for living. At camp, not only do girls read the Bible, but they are also challenged to let it influence everyday decision-making, as they also see it modeled by the staff.
Eventually, I came to the conclusion that the best way to improve on this was to have girls stay at camp for more than one week at a time. So when I saw the opportunity arise for my daughter to have a two-week experience, it didn’t take long to decide to send her. I want her to have the chance to experience a longer session, where the best things about camp are multiplied.
Here are my answers to some questions I think you might ask:
Isn’t it the same as signing her up for two weeks?
Definitely not. There will be a continuity in the two-week session that just couldn’t happen when most girls were there for just one week. This continuity will be found in the people, in the relationships, and in the program.
Isn’t that a long time for a 9-year-old to be away from home?
Not for my daughter, but for others it might be. That’s a question I can’t really answer for you because only you know your own daughter. If she’s young and she’s hesitant, this might not be the right choice. On the other hand, if she really wants to do it, you should consider that a good sign and give serious thought to sending her.
But it’s $1100!!
I know. I feel the pain. That’s a lot of money in one big chunk. But check out the cost of one week and you’ll see this is actually a bargain! And really, stop to think about all that she will get from this week. Three hot meals a day, certified instruction in activities of her choosing, a two-week-long playdate with friends, and staff who know her and care about her. And think about what you won’t have to do: listen to the bored mid-summer whines about having nothing to do, sign her up for activities to keep her from being bored, or figure out what to give her for lunch again. Having her at home for two weeks isn’t cost-free! Plus, you won’t have to get to the end of the summer wondering whether it was time well-spent or time survived. It is a lot of money for my family, but we’ve chosen to make it a priority and give up something else instead of camp.
So, yes, I did in fact already register my daughter for the two-week session (pat on the back for getting it done before May!). She is thrilled, and so am I. And have I mentioned that my first-grader is registered for father/daughter? Parent/daughter weekends are a great way for a young camper to get used to camp. I want to help her be ready when it’s her turn for the two-week session!
I promise I don’t work for camp anymore nor do I get any discounts for writing this. There aren’t even any affiliate links in here. These are all my own opinions. I volunteered to write it because I think it helps to hear someone else’s thought process as you try to make your own decision.