Anxiety is a big concern in our world and with our children. The simple lessons of camp build confidence and with confidece anxiety fades away.
There are many facets to these lessons, but the biggest one is social growth. We see this even in our first hours together as the girls make friends in their cabins, play on the slip and slide, and find their dining room tables. With every new situation, they are greeted with warm smiles and open arms. In each situation they make new friends and their eyes brighten a little more. It is a beautiful thing to see and would make you very happy if you were here.
Another important facet is our time spent outside, even if the weather is bad. We connect with nature and find moments of wonder and delight. Like when a flock of geese lands on the lake as the moon rises in a clear sky after EP. This kind of thing happens all the time, but we don’t see it elsewhere because we are distracted by screens and closed off by walls.
Another facet is community of great people that are just fun to be with. We play, dance, sing, eat, learn, and rest outside. Almost none of our facilities are air-conditioned… we experience the world without screens, and it is wonderful… it brings us together and forces us to talk. As we talk we make friends and gain confidence. It is so very good, but it can be hard at first.
And a surprising facet of building confidence is homesickness. Some of you are VERY worried about this subject because you don’t want this “bad feeling” to impact your daughter negatively. It is a valid concern. We agree that homesickness is not a good feeling, and we take it very seriously. We also know that occasional tears are often a facet of a really great camp experience. Our goal is to ensure every girl loves her time at Greystone, especially if she gets a little homesick sometimes.
Our first days of camp are often marked by moments of uncertainty and adjustment. This is completely natural and leads to resiliency. A resilient girl will get past moments of sadness or discomfort with ease- for she has learned what to do when she feels that way. We lead by example in our classes, at our tables, and in our cabins by our actions (always positive and encouraging) and by our words (a quiet conversation during a teachable moment is powerful). When this happens we learn to be resilient. It is a 21st century skill and vital for gaining confidence in new situations.
If a camper is not adjusting to camp in a healthy manner, we will call you and seek your insights. Your insights always help and together we almost always fix things. We do not call you every time your daughter ever has a sad moment because that is not a problem. We expect sad moments but also expect the girls to get over such moments and have a great day quickly. If you aren’t getting a call, it means things are OK!
The counselor skits last night were a huge hit. It never ceases to amaze me how much delight arises from the simple fun of camp. A typical Netflix show is highly produced and features talented actors with mind-blowing special effects. It costs millions of dollars to make a 30-minute episode, and many/most shows can’t hold our attention for 5 minutes. Yesterday we sat entranced as the counselors did their little acts. Girls were literally rolling with laughter after some of the acts! It capped off a day where we had a blast doing things like sliding down a plastic sheet, playing ga-ga (Jim-ball), swinging, stomping in puddles, playing tag, and getting our pictures taken. Time flew by, and we loved every minute.