I’m a big advocate of “seeing is believing.” I shop online infrequently; I prefer face-to-face conversations ahead of phone calls; and, as I hope you know, we test every product we highlight in this magazine. So when I was thinking about which camps we should feature in this issue, we had to think way ahead of schedule. The only way we could bring to you a truthful camp report would be to have them written—and visited—while they were in session…as in, last summer. I had two terrific interns, David Kelly from U of Colorado-Boulder and Katharina Gadow from U of Wisconsin-Madison, and they were asked to start researching camps right away, and then had to “pitch” five or six they felt had great merit.
Once we discussed the pros and cons of featuring those selected, David and Katharina were set loose to talk to and observe the counselors, directors, and kids. I also asked them to shoot their own photos whenever possible (which, well—may not have been the best idea) but what the heck…trial by fire for the interns.
We are very excited with their features, and I hope you are, too. We have a dance camp, a theater camp, technology, medieval studies, and a special needs camp. One of the camps we were going to focus on didn’t work out well (seeing IS believing), but the result was that I was able to move David onto that super Okee Dokee Brothers feature we ran last fall, so it was all good. But what really shines through is the utter enthusiasm, near joy, the campers had for their experiences.
If you are reading this issue prior to February 25, please do consider dropping by Como Park Zoo and Conservatory between 10:00 and 2:00. Minnesota Parent will be there with a host of camp representatives, poised for your questions.
You may wonder, is camp really necessary? Absolutely. We all wish for our children to be more self-reliant and self-sufficient. How about self-confident, too? Yes. That’s what camp will do, along with teaching them a new skill, or introducing them to a new friend. Your child’s emotional growth won’t just affect him or her, either. Your entire family will benefit.