Transitions and transferring skills
Is the back to school chaos getting to you? I have chatted with a lot of parents in the past couple of weeks and the first question asked is often ‘how is back to school going?’. It seems to be such a loaded question as many families find themselves challenged with the transition from lazy days of summer to the conformity of the school routine. There is an intense pressure that the school schedule brings and just trying to get everyone back into the swing of the expectations and responsibilities can be overwhelming.
Summer vacation is long and even for those that have it filled with camp programs, family time or travel the last days of school in May or June seem like forever ago. The summer break allows us flexibility that we never have the rest of the year. Week days and weekends roll together as we lose the structure of organized activities on set days. Often there is no alarm clock and on some days no need to even change out of pajamas!
Even though camp life is very routine and structured it has much less urgency than school and you certainly don’t get detention if you are late or don’t have the right supplies. The practical, organizational skills gained at camp are easily transferable and can make for a smoother start to the school year. At camp space is limited so campers have their stuff very well organized and to hand. Girls often lay out clothes that they will need, or have handy well used accessories such as lunch bags and crazy creeks so that they are prepared for the next thing. 5-15 minutes of clean up time results in beds being made, dirty clothes sorted and in the laundry bag, shoes paired up and dresser tops tidied. Try challenging your daughter at home with the thought that the ‘nurse’ will be doing inspection how would she score?
There is no doubt that as parents we often do too much for our kids, give too many warnings and reminders and don’t allow them their own success of taking responsibility for basic tasks in their day. It gets everyone stressed out and certainly isn’t helping our kids build their own skills set. At camp the expectations for independence are much higher. Even our youngest campers navigate our campus and get themselves in the appropriate clothes and shoes from cabin to activity. Girls make it to meals on time, make their own choices about what to eat and more often than not they choose a balance meal without anyone nagging them. Often older girls coach the younger ones on good tactics for making the camp day work, grabbing your snack before you change for your next class is apparently key to getting the best choice of apples.
Give your daughter the opportunity to show you what she learned at camp, she can pack her own lunch, organize her activity equipment and clothing, get her backpack ready the night before and a myriad of other tasks that will make everyone’s day smoother.
We hope that your school year has started off well and that you can remind your daughter that the skills she learned at camp can also be used at home.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity of more life skill building next summer and enroll for 2019!