Motherhood In Progress

Exploring the growth, learning and progress of motherhood

Motherhood In Progress - Exploring the growth, learning and progress of motherhood

Healthy Doses of Challenge: How Summer Camp Develops Essential Lifelong Antibodies

Today I have a sponsored post from Camp Rockmont, a nondenominational Christian summer camp for boys located near Asheville North Carolina.  While it may seem like Spring and Summer are far away, in actuality they are really just around the corner and that means time to start thinking about warmer days, outdoor adventures and even summer camp! While here at Motherhood in Progress I talk about the growth and journey of motherhood, your child can experience their own growth and progress at Camp Rockmont.

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Taking the leap into a Summer adventure

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Watching my parents drive away from my college residence hall the first day of freshman orientation was a surreal experience. Though they would only be a phone call away, I was on my own. From that point forward, I would make my own decisions about when to wake up (or not!), where to eat meals, what activities to participate in, and many other autonomous decisions. Many challenges were ahead as well. It was all happening, ready or not. But I was ready. I was ready because I had been to camp. Camp prepares us for much of life to come as we strengthen those essential non-cognitive life skills that will help us navigate the road ahead. In this way, camp equips us.

On a micro-level, our bodies do very similar things to equip us. When the body encounters a very small dose of a disease-causing antigen, it gets to work creating defenses. The immune system seizes this opportunity to develop antibodies to overcome that small dose and continue to develop more antibodies for the day that you might encounter a larger amount of antigens. This process builds the immune system. As painful as this can be at times, it equips us.

Summer camp is the perfect place to develop life-sustaining antibodies, according to American Camp Association Board Member Steve Baskin. Mr. Baskin explains that campers encounter one developmental experience after another when they are at camp.

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Homesickness is the perfect example. When a camper wrestles with homesickness in the camp setting, our staff view this as an opportunity rather than some devastating condition. They move right toward the camper, not to eliminate the homesickness, but to help him learn to cope with the very real things that he is feeling. The camper is developing antibodies, so to speak. When the young man goes off to his freshman year of college and anxiety hits the first night away, he will remember that he has been through something like this before and navigated through it.

The camper experiences small doses of fear and challenge throughout his session at camp. The first night away from home, the first camp out, first ride down the zip line, and first attempt to roll his kayak are all challenges that may not be easy to face initially. But he learns a profound lesson as the boy is helped along by fellow campers and staff, namely, that he is capable of moving beyond disappointment and perceived failure and into new growth. When he encounters challenges later – whether that same session or the next summer – he is more ready than he had been the first time around.

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What better place for children to develop those life-sustaining antibodies than at camp! Here they are presented with age-appropriate challenges in a supportive community. Success and failure are not the words that define campers here. Those labels are too narrow. Rather, our task is to remind our campers that they are valued and capable and needed. Each camper is growing, and we are grateful to partner with families in this process of equipping their children for the road ahead.

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Disclosure : This is a “sponsored post.” The company who sponsored it provided compensation to the owner of Motherhood in Progress. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

  • Danielle says:

    That looks SO fun! I love Summer Camps!

    February 24, 2014 at 3:43 pm
  • kathyKathy says:

    I loved summer camp when I was growing up!!!

    February 24, 2014 at 3:46 pm
  • Suzanne says:

    I loved camp when I was a kid! So much so, that I became a camp counselor in high school and college! :)

    February 24, 2014 at 7:11 pm
  • Sarah Hayes says:

    i spent many summers at camp and had a blast. so many fun activities and it was great to be outside. thanks for the post!

    March 17, 2014 at 12:30 am
  • Michelle says:

    Summer camp is a great place to learn this! As parents, I’m not sure they’re is another way to let them learn like that.

    March 17, 2014 at 8:22 am
  • June S. says:

    (Healthy Doses of Challenge: How Summer Camp Develops Essential Lifelong Antibodies) I use to go to a Summer camp through the Awana’s Club when I was a child. I really enjoyed the great times we had there. Brings back some fond memories.

    May 5, 2014 at 10:44 pm

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