Sunshine Parenting Insights On

summer camp

How to Respond to a Homesick Letter from Your Camper
The Sad Letter You're anticipating with much excitement your camper's first letter from camp. It finally arrives, and this is[...]
Homesickness Dos & Don’ts
Resources/Related Messages for an Anxious Camper 10 Messages for a Homesick Camper Ep. 37: Tips for First-Time Camp Parents Ep.[...]
The Blessing of the Least Favorite Activity
Wendy Mogel's best selling book, The Blessing of a Skinned Knee, resonated with me. I can relate much of her[...]
What are good questions to ask when selecting a camp program?
What are good questions to ask when selecting a camp program for your child? In this video, I go over[...]
Happy Campers: Gold Arrow Camp (Huntington Lake, CA)
Gold Arrow Camp “This year our [camp] theme is “Filling Buckets,” which I’m pretty excited about. It comes from a[...]
Happy Campers: Wilderness Adventures (U.S. & Abroad)
Wilderness Adventures “We want all of our students walking away with a sense of accomplishment. Not only from the trail,[...]
Happy Campers: Kennolyn Camps (Santa Cruz, CA)
Kennolyn Camps “We do have a philosophical belief that kids actually, and humans in general, have good friend making skills.[...]
Happy Campers: AstroCamp (Idyllwild, CA)
AstroCamp “Our mission is making a difference in the lives of children through discovery.” (Diana Huff) Video of the AstroCamp[...]
Happy Campers: Camp Granite Lake (Golden, CO)
Camp Granite Lake “Our mission, our goal, is to be intrinsic to someone’s lifelong growth through their connections with nature[...]
Happy Campers: Skylake Yosemite Camp (Bass Lake, CA)
Skylake Yosemite Camp “I was a camper for ten years, I was on staff for a lot of years, so[...]
Happy Campers: Camp Deerhorn (Rhinelander, WI)
Camp Deerhorn “Every Sunday we have a 'words of wisdom.' It’s non-denominational, it’s just a very short talk that one[...]
Happy Campers: Yosemite Sierra Summer Camp (Bass Lake, CA)
Yosemite Sierra Summer Camp “We built in a culture to where there’s many times during the day for a staff[...]
Is it better to go to camp with a friend?
Ask Me Anything About Summer Camp Series Why do parents send their kids to summer camp? What's the best age[...]
Why do parents send their kids to summer camp?
Camp-Related Posts/Podcast Episodes Happy Campers Interview Series with Camp Directors 100 Questions About Summer Camp Ep. 74: Why Summer Camp?[...]
Happy Campers: Carmel Valley Tennis Camp (CA)
Carmel Valley Tennis Camp is located in Carmel Valley, California and is camp for boys and girls ages 10-18. Sessions[...]
Happy Campers: Camp Chippewa for Boys (Cass Lake, MN)
Camp Chippewa for Boys is located in Cass Lake, Minnesota and is camp for boys ages 8 - 17. Sessions[...]
100 Questions About Summer Camp
Over my three decades as a summer camp director, I've been asked thousands of questions about camp from parents, campers,[...]
Ep. 62: Creating Change Around the World Through the Power of Camp with Phil Lilienthal
When the (campers) get home, parents and teachers, without knowing who’s been to camp, can always tell. Their whole attitude[...]
Ep. 52: 9 Ways to Help Kids Process Summer Camp and Other Experiences
In Episode 52, Sara Kuljis and I chat about ways to help our kids process experiences. The ideas work for[...]
Ep. 47: Experienced Campers Talk about their Camp Experiences
For this episode of the Podcast, I talked with five 17-year-old Junior Counselors who've been going to camp for a[...]
Ep. 46: #CampKindnessDay with Tom Rosenberg
Camp is a place where we can be very positive and very intentional about teaching kindness and why it matters.[...]
Why Summer Camp May be the Secret to a Longer Life
Last week, during my training with camp staff about friendship skills, I showed them this video: I then asked our[...]
Ep. 32: 10 Benefits of Summer Camp for Teens
It's those deep relationships that are formed at summer camp that really have a dramatic influence on them. -Stephen Gray[...]
Ep. 29: Empowering Kids through Outdoor Adventures
"Instead of telling kids what to do, we have the kids tell us what to do. It’s an empowering experience[...]
Ep. 25: Sports Camps and Competitive Athletics with Susan Reeder and Steve Proulx
"We want kids to learn to love the game." -Steve Proulx In Episode 25, I'm talking with Steve Proulx and[...]
Why Making Friends is One of the Most Important Things that Happens at Summer Camp
“Friendship is the gold of childhood” Michael Thompson, Ph.D. When I saw this TED Talk by Susan Pinker, "The Secret[...]
Want an Independent, Self Confident, Resilient Kid? Summer Camp Can Help!
While it’s easy to think of ways to teach our kids to do laundry or solve math problems, finding a[...]
Too Much Screen Time? 4 Ways Summer Camp Can Help
I've learned to face my fears, I've tried new things, and I have learned that you don't always need to[...]
Why Teens Need Summer Camp More Than Ever
Being at camp gives me this sense of belonging that I've never felt anywhere else. I know that I can be[...]
10 Messages for a Homesick Camper
Many kids experience some homesickness at camp – most often the sad feelings flare up during down times like meals,[...]
5 Tips for Surviving Your Child’s First Stay at Overnight Camp
Your child’s at summer camp? That’s so exciting! And hard. For some of you, an internal “WA HOO!” went off[...]
10 Reasons Great Parents Choose Summer Camp for Their Kids
My shy, quiet nine-year-old went to camp not knowing a soul. Two weeks later, she came home transformed.  She blossomed.[...]
Ep. 9: Being a Camp Counselor is the Best Job with Daniella Garran
"Everything good in my life is because of camp." Daniella Garran Daniella Garran calls herself a camp "cultist" because she[...]
5 Essential Summer Camp Packing Tips Every Parent Should Know
[cp_modal display="inline" id="cp_id_62cbe"][/cp_modal] Your camp forms are filled out and you know where the bus drop-off point is. Now it’s[...]
Why Being a Camp Counselor is the Best Summer Job
In the summer of 1987, I returned for my second year as a camp counselor. Those summers 30 years ago[...]
Ep. 6: Staying Underwhelmed with Erica Jameson
“Not WHO you are but HOW you are.” -Erica Jameson I learned a lot talking with Erica Jameson, the third[...]
Ep. 5: Using a Growth Mindset with Jeff Cheley
In Episode 5 of the Sunshine Parenting Podcast, I interview Jeff Cheley, the 4th generation director of Cheley Colorado Camps, a world-renowned[...]
Ep. 3: Raising Resilient, Independent Kids with Sara Kuljis
In Episode 3 of the Sunshine Parenting Podcast, I interview my good friend Sara Kuljis about raising resilient, independent kids.[...]
Giving Kids Our Full Attention
Rapport feels good, generating the harmonious glow of being simpatico, a sense of friendliness where each person feels the other’s[...]
The Power of Positive Words
Well, I don't know the child that was returned to me on Saturday. It definitely wasn't the child I dropped off[...]
Dear Parent Hitting the Refresh Button (again) to View Camp Photos
Dear Parent Hitting the Refresh Button (again) to View Camp Photos, I know your pain. I’m on your side of[...]
Campsickness: 10 Tips for Easing the Re-entry Home
“I miss camp so much. I just got back today.” -Emma From pictures posted on Instagram in the days following[...]
7 Reasons to Get Outside
Next to unplugging, one of my favorite things to talk about is spending time outside. In fact, I believe the[...]
Questions for Connection
When the calendar turns to spring, my mind turns full steam into counselor training mode. I can’t help it. After[...]
5 Reasons NOT to Worry While Your Kids are at Camp
Worrying when our kids are away from us is normal for parents. Every time I’ve ever dropped my kids off[...]
Surviving and Thriving (in High School and Life)
Many kids struggle with their sense of worth and forget who they really are during high school. For high achieving[...]
Five (MORE) Reasons Great Parents Send Their Kids to Camp
There are so many reasons great parents choose to send their kids to summer camp. Two years ago, I shared[...]
How Camp Helps Parents Raise Adults
“The movie Stepford Wives came to mind as I watched my students live their college life still somehow looking to[...]
5 Ways Camp Grows Grit
"It turns out that grit predicts performance better than IQ or innate talent. Grit makes our kids productive and successful[...]
10 Surprising Things Kids Learn at Camp
I would not be the person I am today without camp. -15-year-old camper My three decades of camp experience, coupled[...]
10 Ways to Better Understand Your Camper’s Experience
Your camper's home from camp, and they had a great time. But what exactly was this camp thing all about?[...]
5 Fun Ideas for Letters to Campers
When children are at summer camp, parents have a new daily “to do”– write and send a letter or email[...]
Countdown to Camp: 5 Things to do NOW
School is ending and camp is right around the corner. Do you know where your packing list is? I suspected[...]
Secondary Homesickness: When Your Camper doesn’t want to go BACK to Camp
"I don't want to go back!" Two or three times each year, I get a call from a returning camper’s[...]
The Greatest Internship: 6 Critical Skills Counselors Develop at Camp
This week I'm featuring a guest post by Alison “Bean” Moeschberger, an experienced camp director whose passion is training and guiding counselors[...]
Research finds Children Learn Social Skills at Camp
Last summer, I conducted research on the impact camp experiences have on children’s social skills and happiness. This research was through[...]
Study Finds Campers Really are Happy
Camp is basically my happy place, and I love being here more than any other place in the world. -Camper,[...]
Three Character Traits Kids Develop at Camp
While it’s easy to think of ways to teach our kids to do laundry or solve math problems, finding a[...]
10 Social Skills Kids Learn at Camp
At one of my son’s soccer games this fall, a mom on our team offered her son $50 for each[...]
Five Reasons Every Teen Should go to Summer Camp
Being at camp gives me this sense of belonging that I've never felt anywhere else. I know that I can[...]
10 Parenting Tips from Camp Counselors
At one time in their lives, many of the parents I know were camp counselors. Those same people have told[...]
Top 3 Posts of 2014
Dear Sunshine Parenting Reader, Thank you for reading my posts this year! In 2007, I read a book called Writing[...]
3 Life Lessons Learned on a Tow Rope
The recreational sports we teach at camp include sailing, water skiing, rock climbing, and many more fun outdoor sports. But[...]
Should I Make my Kid go to Camp?
I get asked this question frequently, so I’ve created a grid to help you make the decision. Just see what[...]
Why Kids Flourish at Camp
Campers often describe camp as their “happy place”” or “the best two weeks” of their year. And, from my own[...]
What’s the Best Age for Camp?
You probably want a number here.  If you're only going to read these first two sentences, then I'll pick the[...]
Five Reasons Great Parents Send Their Kids to Camp
My shy, quiet nine-year-old went to camp not knowing a soul. Two weeks later, she came home transformed.  She blossomed.[...]
Making Friends: Managing Difficult Emotions
Here are a few tough questions: • Has anyone ever accused your child of bullying or being mean to another child?[...]
Friends: Finding Gold in a Plastic Era
“Friendship is the gold of childhood.”   Michael Thompson’s statement stuck with me long after I attended his session on the[...]
10 Reasons I Heart Camp
In honor of "I Heart Camp" Day (February 1), here are 10 reasons why, as a parent, I love camp[...]
4 Parenting Challenges and How Camp Can Help
In today's digital, fast-moving, ultra-competitive world, raising kids who grow into happy, independent adults has become more challenging for parents.[...]
Making Family Dinner like a Campfire
An activity we do at campfires at camp has been helpful in our family at getting our kids to communicate[...]
Focusing on Kindness
“Being considerate of others will take your children further in life than any college degree.” -Marian Wright Edelman This summer’s[...]
Parking Your Helicopter
"The study, released Feb. 12, found that behaviors associated with helicopter parenting have a negative impact on the college-aged adult's[...]
Grit, Goals, and Growth
Gold Arrow Camp has taught me to be brave and reach my goals. If it wasn't for GAC, I wouldn't[...]
Good Gifts
The best thing you can give your children, next to good habits, are good memories. -Sydney Harris Our home is[...]
Way Too Much of a Good Thing
Anyone who's been reading my blog knows that I'm a big proponent of getting kids "unplugged."  I love that they[...]
Why Can’t School be More Like Camp?
Yesterday, my fourth grade son came home from school downcast.  It’s his third week at a new school, and I[...]
Messages for an Anxious Camper
Check out more Summer Camp videos. “Children want to be independent, and they realize that they cannot be truly independent[...]
Sharing our Highs, Lows, and Buffaloes
What do kids choose to share with their parents about their camp experience, or, for that matter, about any experience?[...]
Homesickness Help
Homesickness is an emotion that most campers feel to some degree at camp.   Fortunately, in most cases, the fun and[...]
“Kidsickness”: Help for First Time Camp Parents
Who's REALLY not ready for camp? Usually, parents say it's their kid who's not ready, but in my experience, the[...]
Get Unplugged
The January/February, 2011, issue of Stanford Magazine reported on research being done about the impact of time spent online (link[...]
Hand Written Letters
This week I’ve been going through the many boxes of letters, photos, and memorabilia which I have collected over my[...]
Nature Pees and Lanyard Fishing Poles
Watching the campers construct fishing poles out of sticks and lanyard string, I had a revelation.  Kids rarely get a[...]

Want to raise kids who are less anxious and more successful?

Sign up for simple tips to help raise thriving adults, and I'll send you a free excerpt from my new book, Happy Campers.