I recently read an excellent memoir about overnight camps. The book is calledCamp. The author is Michael Eisner the former CEO of Disney. Much like the best seller “Everything I Need to Know I Learned in first grade”, Eisner credits his overnight camp experience as the foundation for many important life lessons. Eisner was not the only member of his family to attend camp. He touches upon his father’s generation as well as his own children. His point is that for any generation, sleep-away camp can play a significant role in a person’s development.
Eisner gets it!
Camp is about learning to work with, and caring about others. Camp is about team spirit and sportsmanship. It is about community, empathy, friendships and personal growth as well as learning, reinventing oneself, and having experiences away from school and parents. Camp is one of the greatest gifts you can give your children because it has life long value. Your child will form a second family away from home that they can return to each summer.
For those of us who have been to overnight summer camp, reading Eisner’s book will bring back many fond memories. Those of us at Tips, miss those days and fulfill this passion by finding just the right camp placement for our clients. For others, it gives insight into one of America’s most successful corporate leaders and how camp was such an awesome experience for him.
Since Michael Eisner’s childhood, camp offerings both within the traditional camp environment as well as the choice of the camp itself have become more varied. Besides traditional camps- Eisner’s was an all boys overnight camp- there are specialty camps with strong emphasis on tennis, cooking, horseback riding, golf, soccer, travel and many more. Teens can continue at camp as CITs or they can go to language immersions programs, acting programs, performing arts programs, SAT prep, photography programs, film programs or community service. The choices and offerings are endless.
Michael Eisner has written a wonderful tribute to sleep-away camp. He is not the only well known American who appreciates overnight camp. When sending his daughter, Malia to overnight camp, President Obama called it a right of passage. We think so too!
We welcome your addition of stories and memories of camp.