An insightful and powerful look at the magic of summer camp—and why it is so important for children to be away from home . . . if only for a little while.
In an age when it’s the rare child who walks to school on his own, the thought of sending your “little ones” off to sleep-away camp can be overwhelming—for you and for them. But parents’ first instinct—to shelter their offspring above all else—is actually depriving kids of the major developmental milestones that occur through letting them go—and watching them come back transformed.
In Homesick and Happy, renowned child psychologist Michael Thompson, PhD, shares a strong argument for, and a vital guide to, this brief loosening of ties. A great champion of summer camp, he explains how camp ushers your children into a thrilling world offering an environment that most of us at home cannot: an electronics-free zone, a multigenerational community, meaningful daily rituals like group meals and cabin clean-up, and a place where time simply slows down. In the buggy woods, icy swims, campfire sing-alongs, and daring adventures, children have emotionally significant and character-building experiences; they often grow in ways that surprise even themselves; they make lifelong memories and cherished friends. Thompson shows how children who are away from their parents can be both homesick and happy, scared and successful, anxious and exuberant. When kids go to camp—for a week, a month, or the whole summer—they can experience some of the greatest maturation of their lives, and return more independent, strong, and healthy.
|Publisher:||Random House Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.12(w) x 7.99(h) x 0.69(d)|
About the Author
Michael Thompson, PhD, is the author or co-author of eight books, including the bestselling Raising Cain. A consulting school psychologist and popular school speaker, he is also a former board member of the American Camp Association. The father of two, he lives in Arlington, Massachusetts, with his wife.
Table of Contents
Introduction: A New York City Boy Goes Back to Camp xiii
1 Off They Go 3
2 A Lost World of Family Time 35
3 A Fire in My Stomach 62
4 Homesick and Happy 86
5 A Little Paradise 107
6 OMG, I Love You! 130
7 Passages 154
8 "I Wish You Luck in Being Yourselves" 180
9 The Magic of Camp 198
10 "Childsick" and Happy 238
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Parents should not hesitate to send their kids to camp. Kids are tougher than one might think, and camp prepares them for life. Homesickness hurts, but does no lasting damage. It is evidence of a loving home left behind that is appreciated all the more upon the camper's return. Camp is fun! Concerned parents should read this book. It rings true for me, capturing my experience as both a camper (4 years) and a camp counselor (5 years).