The Benefits of the Bunk Experience for Boys & Girls
The school year may have only just begun, but camp registration is in full swing. But as a parent, you might be anxious about sending your kids away to summer camp. What if David’s bunkmates are loud and keep him awake at night? What if Zoe gets homesick? Take a deep breath. As scary as it may be for parents to send their boys and girls away for the summer, the bunk experience can be extremely valuable, teaching them to think and behave with greater maturity in a fun, relaxed environment. Here are some reasons why your child will benefit from the summer camp bunk experience :
1. Teaches responsibility and independence
Summer camp is the first time your son or daughter will be living away from home. Sharing a bunk with 10 other campers and three dedicated counselors is their first, albeit sheltered, dabble with independent living, and the responsibilities it entails. Your kids will learn to care for their own possessions – and to treat items belonging to others with respect. They will routinely work together to keep their bunks clean and make decisions without the pressure created by helicopter parenting.
2. A greenhouse for social growth
Sharing a camp bunk naturally promotes social growth: within its wooden slat walls and beneath its slanted shingle roof, boys and girls are exposed to a multitude of social situations, some pleasant, others less. Yet, regardless of the circumstances of the day, bunkmates must learn to navigate the event, shed awkward or displeasing feelings and learn to make allowances for one another. These are skills that will benefit them throughout the course of life – in school, on the job and within relationships. Learning to manage these feelings and situations within the safe bounds of the camp bunk and under the supervision of camp counselors enables campers to face challenges head-on and grow socially with the other boys and girls. who will likely be their friends for years to come.
3. A chance to make deep connections
Sleeping in a bunk means being seeing a lot of each other. Your child’s bunkmates are the first people they see in the morning, and the last ones they say goodnight to before falling asleep at night. When campers live together under the same roof, they are given an unprecedented opportunity to forge deep, meaningful relationships. Often those who went to summer camp as kids describe their former bunkmates as lifelong friends, with these relationships continuing well into adulthood.
Bunk living teaches boys and girls to treat others with respect. Sharing a living space with other boys or girls forces campers to consider others’ personal space, boundaries, feelings and preferences. Campers learn how to allow for others’ privacy and how to make their privacy wishes known. The respect and behavior modeled by camp counselors shows the boys and girls how they are to act. In addition, witnessing and observing others’ conduct within the bunk’s walls imparts upon campers a sense of respect for their peers and their accomplishments. Campers also grow a greater sense of self-respect as they begin to understand the intricacies of sharing the bunk and its responsibilities.
Sharing a bunk with several boys or girls may be unnerving at first, but the benefits of living and sharing camp experiences with others far outweigh the stinky gym socks Danny leaves on the floor or the not-so-quiet “whisper sessions” Ella and Sydney hold after lights out. The bunk experience at Camps Airy & Louise is your child’s first (although controlled) brush with independent living and with that comes a comprehensive education in social interaction and mutual respect that will have you singing camp’s praises long after summertime has ended. Contact us with any additional questions you might have on bunk life at Camp.