Written by a camp owner and mother-of-five with a masters in psychology, HAPPY CAMPERS shares nine proven summer camp secrets parents can use at home to foster family connection and raise kids who are confident and capable, and who become thriving adults.
Many of us live in suburban neighborhoods with nice yards, but without children in them often enough. We're out to dinner and notice a silent family, faces tilted toward their individual screens. Or maybe that family is us.
In a social media culture, more than ever, the tried and true benefits of summer camp are being lauded for the value they've always held. Camp encourages real connection, grit, self-reflection, optimism, and self-confidence, and it does so without dependence upon technology. By implementing the proven principles of camp in our own homes, we can provide our kids with the tools they need to develop into thriving adults.
Summer camp is attended by more than 12 million kids every year and research in positive psychology has proven that kids are just plain happier at camp. HAPPY CAMPERS explores the reasons why, and offers parents nine secrets of summer camp that they can use to reap the benefits of camp for their children at home. Extra resources are included at the end of each chapter, such as questions for connection, family meeting topics, and activities to help families implement each summer camp strategy at home.
Connection Comes First,
Positive Practices Produce Optimistic Kids,
Grit is Grown Outside the Comfort Zone, and
Coach Kids to Better Friendships
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About the Author
Audrey Monke has a masters in psychology and has worked with thousands of parents and campers as owner and director of Gold Arrow Camp in Lakeshore, California since 1989. Known by her camp name "Sunshine" Audrey is a speaker and writer about positive parenting techniques, sharing her insights on raising optimistic children. She is a former president of the Western Association of Independent Camps, as well as a regular contributor to Camping Magazine and the American Camp Association's Camp Parents blog. Audrey and her husband, Steve, have five children.
Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D. is a pediatric and adolescent psychotherapist, parenting consultant, and the director of parenting education and development for the Mindsight Institute. A frequent lecturer to parents, educators, and professionals, she lives near Los Angeles with her husband and three children.
Table of Contents
Foreword Tina Payne Bryson, PhD ix
Introduction: What Parents Can Learn from Summer Camp xv
The "Magic" of Summer Camp 1
They Call Me "Sunshine" 4
Strategies for Bringing the Magic of Camp Home 7
Camp Secret #1 Connection Comes First 10
Camp Secret #2 Catch Them Doing Something Right 37
Camp Secret #3 Positive Practices Produce Optimistic Kids 65
Camp Secret #4 All Kids Can Be More Independent (Even Clingy Homebodies!) 82
Camp Secret #5 Grit Is Grown Outside the Comfort Zone 102
Camp Secret #6 Kids Are More Capable Than Parents Think They Are 129
Camp Secret #7 Kids Thrive with Structure 153
Camp Secret #8 Make It Cool to Be Kind 173
Camp Secret #9 Coach Kids to Better Friendships 195
Final Thoughts: The Magic of Family 217
Bringing Camp Home Activities 225
Camp Secrets Recap 226
Family Meetings 230
Questions for Connection 232
Undesired Behaviors and Skills to Build 234
VIA Character Strengths 235
Household Task Audit 236
Ready for Adulthood Checklist 237
Social Skills Checklist 242