Camp Arowhon

Parenting

November 5, 2018

Do we over-identify with our children?

I ran into a male friend, 45ish, last week and he told me a story that made him sad. His wife was dropping their 10-year-old daughter off at school. She saw the other girls turn their back on her daughter. She called her husband, crying. Now he’s upset, for two reasons: One, obviously he’s worried […]

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October 1, 2018

Why Failure is Good for Kids

One time, about a decade ago on his regular annual camp visit, my friend Seth Godin came out of the lake in a gorilla suit. A full-size theatrical rented gorilla suit. The entire camp was watching – and waiting – because he did it at evening flag lowering. Seth began reciting a poem. A somewhat […]

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September 3, 2018

Homework

After the interrupted sleeps of infancy, and before the storms of adolescence, nicely sandwiched in the middle is the nightmare of homework. Not the kids’ nightmare. Ours. It’s ours because many of us parents care more about our kids’ homework than they do. And therein lies the problem. Kids know whenever we care more about […]

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August 6, 2018

Autonomy and Mastery – the Hidden Gifts of Camp

What do kids need, really need, in order to thrive? A smart guy at University of Rochester did a study on just that and he, Richard Ryan, identified three psychological requirements for kids to thrive: Autonomy, mastery and connection. One would hope for schools to supply at least the opportunity for these to occur. Because […]

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June 23, 2018

Notes from PreCamp 2018

All our staff are here and it’s been a fabulous PreCamp training thus far… One nugget: In a session with our full staff last night (about 165 staff) I asked them to go to one side of the room if they put their own needs first, and to the other side if they look first […]

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May 7, 2018

Anxiety, the new epidemic

My camp team has been going to the biggest camp directors conference in the world, the American Camp Association Tri-State Conference, for years. 4000 camp directors, four days, about 20 workshops on offer in every time slot, all day every day. Many learning options for us. But not as many these days. Why? Because they’re […]

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February 28, 2018

Words of advice for March break

I have a terrible memory of March break the year my daughter was 15. We – our family of four – are out for dinner in Spanish Town, Virgin Gorda, in the British Virgin Islands. Sounds like a hamburger in paradise, right? Just to set the scene, we’ve chartered a live-aboard sailboat for March break. […]

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February 22, 2018

Getting Through to Tough Boys

An excerpt from Arowhon Head Counsellor Jonny Reed’s recent article on #Metoo and teenage boy culture. This perfectly reflects Jonny’s (and Arowhon’s) approach to mentoring young men. Worth a read for everyone with a boy in their life. “In the three months since the rise of #MeToo, I’ve seen an upswing in the conversation about […]

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January 9, 2018

Can we protect our kids from sexual assault?

I am a woman, a mother of a daughter, and a leader of young women in my role as a camp director. It is both my job and my passion to think about how to keep young women safe. Judging by the firestorm of women coming forward to name (literally) bad actors sexually speaking, the […]

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November 27, 2017

Parenting Anxious Children

I am forever harping on the virtues of communication, the necessity of teaching your kids to talk out their problems rather than act them out. But there’s one kind of child that just plain doesn’t work with: The anxious child struggles is often silent. The anxious child is the most confusing child to parent because […]

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