Did your child attend a sports camp? Dance camp? Theater camp? Traditional Camp? No matter what kind of camp your child attended, they learned important new skills that can be applied to their every day life.
At every summer camp your child learned how to make their own bed and can continue to do that at home. Teenagers on adventure trips or enrichment programs or a language immersion experience did chores that helped the group. Ask them about the chore wheel and see if there are cabin upkeep activities that can translate to your family. Perhaps help setting table and cleaning up after meals, taking out the trash or recycling or picking up their room.
On most summer trips for teens the kids take turns cooking. Ask your teenager to prepare their favorite meal for the family. Some went to cooking programs, let them show off their new found skills.
When teens attend an enrichment program on a college campus or other travel program they are responsible for doing their own laundry. They can continue to do this at home especially on school holidays or on weekends. This is great practice for college. Younger kids had their clean laundry returned to them and they put it away in their quarters. Now ask them to be responsible for putting away their clean laundry at home.
When your child is on a summer program they rely on their own resources to solve problems. Continue to encourage your child to be independent and not ask Mom and Dad to fix the challenges they encounter. Tell them you have confidence that they can come up with a solution and step back. After all, part of what we all hope that our kids learn from a summer experience is how to be self reliant. Take advantage of what they learned and build on those skills in their every day school and family life.
Eve Eifler is Co-Director of Tips on Trips and Camps. She has been helping families find wonderful summer programs for their children for 25 years.