As My Own Kids Head off to Camp…

AT Staff05 Jun, 2011

As I fly to the west coast to begin the Adventure Treks summer, three of my own children begin their own camp experiences.  Everyone is excited and it certainly gives me the opportunity to put myself in the shoes of the Adventure Treks parents whom I serve.  My two oldest daughters, Audrey and Ella, ages 9 and 10 are headed off for three weeks to Camp Green Cove. My own camp experience began at the brother camp to Green Cove in 1972.  My youngest daughter, Ava who is 7 begins an 8 day overnight at Gwynn Valley, a wonderful camp which specializes in younger children.  Charlie my four-year old is bemoaning the fact that his is left at home with Mom… too young to qualify for even day camp.

We have had many conversations in the past week as they prepare for camp with nervous excitement.  My advice to them is: Have a lot of fun, represent your family well, help out, be your best self, be kind to everyone, make the most of every minute of the experience, stay safe and embrace new challenges and people.  I am excited to hear their many stories when we all get together again.

I also get the chance to reflect on what Jane and I want from their experiences.  Camp certainly comes with a big financial sacrifice, but we also know it’s the best money we can spend on our kids.  First we want our kids to be safe.  And all we can do is hope that everyone will make good decisions. It’s out of our hands.  We also hope they will have a lot of fun, they have worked hard at school this year and they need a fun break. . We are excited for them to have their own experience, away from our micro managing. It’s time for them to experience standing on their own, though we hope it will come with careful guidance from their counselors.  We’d be delighted if they stepped up a little in self responsibility which might translate into helping out more at home. That might be too much wishful thinking!

We are ecstatic that we can temporarily suspend our constant battles with all that we find inappropriate with the Disney Channel and pop radio. (And these battles only get more intense as kids grow older)  I can’t wait for my kids to experience three weeks without the internet, pop culture, computer games and TV! We are excited for our kids to be outside, challenge themselves, have constant adventures on their personal frontier and live simply and healthily. We are eager for them to meet great role models, folks a lot “hipper” than we are, but folks we desperately hope will communicate our values. And we hope they will make a lot of new friends, friends from all over the country and friends whose parents have raised them with similar values.

As you look forward to your child’s Adventure Treks experience, I’m certain you share many of the same goals for your kids. At Adventure Treks, we want to be your partner.  Parents can’t raise children by themselves. We promise to use the Adventure Treks’ opportunity to help your kids grow.  We want your experience with us to be as successful for you and your kids as I hope camp will be for my kids.

We look forward to being of service this summer.

Best regards,

John Dockendorf


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