September 29, 2022

(Lack of) Updates from Camp

6 years ago, I posted THIS blog about an article that Joanne wrote in The Globe and Mail explaining why Arowhon chooses not to post pictures of kids during the summer. Today, after a week of reading post-camp parent surveys, it rings just as true. 

Being a new daycare mom I have a newfound appreciation for the manic cycle created by info-sharing. 

Being a camp director, I can’t help but wonder what;s behind that smiling pic… how many attempts did it take (and multiply that by the 15 kids in the room). What kind of care were the workers providing while they were taking them? Who’s taking care of the kids when they’re sending me updates about her bowel movements and how much she ate? 

Amongst the (increasing every year) amount of parents that write on their post-camp surveys that they’d like more news/pictures of their kids in the summer, I was struck by this parent’s feedback, and inspired to whine a little less when the updates don’t feature my darling daughter’s daily accomplishments:

“While I reserve the right next summer to regret saying this (and I’m sure I will!), I actually really appreciate the true separation kids get from parents while they’re at Arowhon. 

I’ll admit I probably refreshed my bunk notes app and the Arowhon blog 50 times daily hoping for any info, and while I would have loved to hear from her more, I really do believe there’s immeasurable value for kids to spend time free of the modern day “big brother” element to childhood. It gives them freedom to truly be themselves without stopping to wonder “what would my mom think/say?” or to self edit for a barrage of cameras. 

Other camps we considered have daily photos and in some cases, live webcams throughout the property – and I can’t help but assume their presence interferes with true camp life and the maturity and growth that comes from kids knowing they can be free of parental judgment. 

Missing our daughter was nearly all consuming, yet I’m glad she had the opportunity to disconnect and learn more about who she really is, and how she relates to others when parents don’t intervene.”

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