Opening Day at the Aloha Camps is Joyful and Sometimes Bittersweet

Beginner rowing at Aloha Camp for girls
Trying something new at camp can be scary but empowering.

On Lake Morey and Lake Fairlee today, the final touches are being put on camps Aloha, Hive and Lanakila.  2015’s Opening Day is Wednesday, and some campers are already en route to Fairlee today. As parents contemplate waving goodbye at the airport gate, on the steps to New York City bus or at camp itself on Wednesday morning, there will be a bittersweet pang for many.

My Daughter Went Away to Camp and Changed by John Dickerson lovingly explores the feelings parents experience at the beginning of a camp summer: pride, sadness, anxiety, joy and even nostalgia for one’s own camp days. Dickerson acknowledges the following about our children’s time at summer camp, “We are not invited, which is a paper-cut echo of the truth at the heart of parenting: You’re doing it best when you’re teaching them to leave you.”

Vermont's Camp Lanakila For Boys Woodworking Instruction
Trained staff know how to safely encourage new skills and activities.

Your child will take risks, make choices and problem-solve this summer without your input. For parents used to helicoptering, this may seem scary, but nothing could be better for your child’s growth. John Dickerson aptly writes, “The best moments of childhood—the memories that stay with you into adulthood—are ones where your parents aren’t there. ”

As you and your camper(s) make their way to Aloha, Hive and Lanakila in the coming days or in July for the 2nd session, know that there are hundreds of counselors and staff waiting with open arms to offer your child the opportunity for fun, adventure and often without your child even knowing it, transformation.

Vermont's Aloha Hive Camp for Girls Ropes Course
Far from a parent’s gaze, campers learn new skills and safely conquer challenges .

Laura Gillespie is the Director of Communications & Alumni Relations at The Aloha Foundation, an alumna of Aloha Hive and Aloha Camp, and has been a Horizons and Lanakila parent.