When I was a Girl Scout, my parents let me go to camps over the summer. Lots of camps. There was day camp and teddy bear camp, dance camp and biking camp and more. And camping was fun: We earned badges, made s'mores, sang dirty songs, made new friends and slept in very nice tents.
But if someone would ask me to go camping today, I would pass. My adult mind would think about bug bites, poor sleep, snakes and a lack of bathroom facilities. Maybe I've become spoiled, but I don't think I would be a happy camper.
I fully intend, however, to send my son to camp. The explorations in the wilderness, learning the survival basics and making friends are all important life skills. Of course, so is learning how to cope with homesickness, so I think he should go to camp by himself and write me letters.
There are families that enjoy camping together, and it turns out that those families believe camping makes their children healthier and happier overall. In this study, (which is funded by a camping organization, so take it with a grain of salt) children who camp do better in school and are healthier than their non-camping brethren.
I'm not convinced that is true - since there are lots of ways for children to be active and healthy without ever making a middle-of-the-night trip to a latrine guided only by a weak flashlight. But, if you are a camping family and you all enjoy it, then by all means - get your camp on.
I'll be by the hotel pool if you need me.
What was your favorite thing about summer camp when you were little? Tell me all about it in the comments.