Ep. 18: Adventures in Parenting with Tom Holland

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In Episode 18, I talk with Tom Holland, a camp director and parent of four who has many excellent ideas for parents to teach kids to approach life with wonder and joy, learn leadership skills, enjoy the outdoors, and learn appropriate tech use habits.

Tom Holland

Tom attended the camp he and his wife Katherine now own, Wilderness Adventures,  as a teenager. There, Tom discovered a passion for adventure and outdoor education. The program led him to get involved in the summer camp industry while in college. An award-winning educator, Tom spent three years teaching social studies at the secondary level before he left the classroom to work at a camp in northwest Wyoming (Teton Valley Ranch). After two years on the team, he was named the Executive Director, a role he held for six years. In 2013, he went on to work for the American Camp Association and held the roles of Chief Foundation Officer and Chief Executive Officer.

Known as a leading expert on the camp experience, Tom has spoken at both national and international conferences on youth development, the camp experience and children in the outdoors. He holds a B.A. in secondary education and an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis.

We talked about many topics near and dear to my heart, including:
Getting Outside
Benefits of Summer Camp
Family Dinner
Teaching Kids to Ask Questions
I especially like Tom’s idea of having his kids rotate leadership of the discussion at family dinner. What an amazing way to teach both leadership and good communication skills right around the dinner table!
Tom shared one of his go-to parenting websites, specifically geared towards dads, Fatherly. I took a peak, and today’s featured article was about celebrity dad Matt Lauer and what parents can learn from all the recent news about celebrities who use their powerful roles to harass and abuse.
To find out more about Wilderness Adventures, as well as Basecamp (his day camp in Jackson Hole, Wyoming), visit the Wilderness Adventures website. They have an awesome Trip Finder tool that helps you select the perfect outdoor adventure for your 5th-12th+ grader!
I also found this American Camp Association video, The Gift of Camp, from a few years ago (when Tom was CEO). It seems appropriate to share with this podcast episode, since it’s the holiday season and camp is one of my favorite gifts, too!

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