Dear Parents & Friends,
Thank you for a great ending to our D Session today. We’ve had a wonderful time with your children and thanks for sharing them with us. Soon you will receive a link to an evaluation that we are hoping you will participate in. We are collaborating with Clemson University to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of our camp programs and to better understand your perspectives as parents. In addition to learning about your child’s camp experience, we also want to gain greater insight into how parents today are making decisions for their children. We hope that this information will help us continually improve our camp programs and services. Your feedback is important. We appreciate you taking the time to help us keep Gwynn Valley an outstanding program.
I was reading an article this morning before breakfast about “being grateful”. Last year, a Harris Polls survey was conducted to determine those things for which Americans are most grateful. Ranking at the top was health of family & family relationships. I’d like to think in some ways that camp can contribute to these top choices. Even though your child may come home pretty tired, their cup runneth over from a healthy lifestyle at camp including: good food, plenty of exercise, good role models, learning to live and work together, becoming more independent, gaining resilience and so much more. I feel it’s good to leave the nest and venture out from under the wings of parents to grow those flight feathers and confidence to an appropriate level. It is also good for us as parents when they leave and come back tired but fulfilled. We miss them and love them even more. In two weeks I’m sending my youngest off to college and I will feel as you did when you dropped them off at the beginning of the session. It’s sometimes hard to let go. We can see the value of a good camp experience and how it bolsters the life of the child and has positive effects on the whole family. Relationship building is the other part mentioned in the article. Building relationships is the essence of what camp is about. Getting along with one another and quickly learning that we’re not the center of the universe. If your child left siblings behind at home, I’m sure they were missed on both ends and they appreciate them even more when they see them again. A camp experience helps to round out the whole child and provides what we can’t always provide at home by introducing a whole new set of friends and folks from all over the world.
For those of you that have arrived home we hope that your child’s experience has captured all the magic of what camp can be. We know you will hear stories and songs as the weeks go by and that the camp experience will become a great memory. Placed in the hands of a mature staff a camper really gains from “playing outside which produces growing inside”. From all of us, thanks again for a great session. Wonderful children, great staff and the Simple Joys of Childhood at Gwynn Valley! Hope to see you next year!