Parking the Helicopter

By Audrey “Sunshine” Monke

"I'm just going to Science Club!"

As parents of this generation, we have been told that great parenting means
being super-involved with our children and always being in constant communication with
them. We give them cell phones as soon as we feel they are ready to have a bit of
independence, so that we can be assured that they will call us the minute they need us.
There are many benefits to this parenting style. We know our kids well and have
developed close family relationships. We also know each of their homework
assignments (and assist with a few of them), the drills they did at soccer practice
(because we either coached their team or stayed and watched), and what they ate for
snack at school. The downside to our “helicopter” parenting, though, is it makes it
difficult for our children to develop their independence, problem-solving, and decision-
making skills.

Hooray for camp! Without a cell phone (or their parent next to them) to
immediately turn to when they are faced with a decision, campers learn to use other
resources – including their own great minds. Without us watching them and being a
reminder of what they’ve been scared of in the past, they challenge themselves and try
something new. The confidence that results from their accomplishments and
independence can be life-changing, and the best thing we hear from our campers and
parents is that camp truly makes their life better.

According to past staff member and camper, Renee “Zippy” Tucknott, “Gold
Arrow Camp taught me early in life that I can survive in the world without my parents
making my decisions, and I am able to make my own decisions and choices that will
impact my life. When I got to college, I experienced some of the same decisions and
choices and already knew I could survive on my own.”

Building confidence, character and resoursefulness at GAC!

As technology has provided us with the ever-increasing ability to be in touch
– immediately – with everyone, it has also given the children and young adults of this
generation a crutch that we (those of us in our late 30’s and up) did not have. When
faced with a decision or problem with a friend, we had to rely on ourselves first and later
discuss it with our parents. Now, kids are getting accustomed to calling their parents
before attempting to solve the challenge on their own. At GAC, we have a great support
network to help our campers work through challenges, fears, and problems that may
come up. They never feel “alone,” but they feel independent from their parents, and a
lot of pride comes from that independence.
So, enjoy your child’s stay at GAC this summer and rest assured that while your
helicopter is parked, your child is spreading their wings!

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Categories: Communication, Community, Councelors, Kids, Parents, Tradition, Traditions | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Parking the Helicopter

  1. Pingback: Camp: One Solution to Parenting Challenges – Part 1 « Gold Arrow Camp's Blog

  2. Pingback: Camp: One Solution to Parenting Challenges – Part 1 | California Summer Camps, Gold Arrow Camp, Huntington Lake, Overnight Camp California, Traditional Summer Camp California

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