The Camp/College Connection

The Camp/College Connection

by PFC Alum and Camp Parent, Hillary Slovin

My 18 year old daughter is about to start her freshman year in college this fall.  As I nervously anticpate this milestone in her life, I am thinking about how it’s going to be for me and my thoughts turn to camp.  I’ve heard that the college “leaving the nest thing” feels a little like when they’re at camp.  Because of camp, for the past 9 summers, I know what it feels like to have an empty bedroom and quiet house, at least for 7 weeks.  We know how much camp helps children transition in to college life but maybe this will also help me, even just a little,  make the transition.

She just finished her first counselor summer at camp and, with that, she got off days where she’d come home for 24 hours.  I’d clear my calendar to spend all my time with her, stock the fridge with all her favorite things, do a bunch of loads of her laundry and off she’d go again.  As I watched her drive back out of the driveway, it dawned on me that perhaps this is a taste of what the next 4 years will be like with her, coming and going, to and from college, just like with camp.

I’ve read the articles about the endless benefits of camp and how it can help prepare kids for college but I never thought about how it can benefit us parents as well.  Yet another benefit of sending our kids to camp, as if we needed yet another reason!  As “young” parents, it’s hard to think so far ahead about this.  Whoever would’ve thought that us adults get to still feel benefits of overnight camp!
So thank you PFC for not only helping my child develop skills to be ready to leave for college but for me as well.  As I come home to an empty house after college drop-off, I plan on thinking about how the 7 weeks felt, summer after summer.  I will remember that, despite the absence, they do come back home, and most importantly, as even better people for it.
Just like with camp.

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