It’s not unusual for me to hear parents of teenagers (13-16) say that they think their child is too old for camp. I get it – teenagers have a lot of options at their age and a lot of different ways that they can spend their summers. But, why isn’t camp one of those options?
My years as a teenage camper were my favorite – from 8th to 11th grade is when my best memories were made, my strongest connections with my friends were built, and I was closest with my counselor role models. I remember the feeling of being 15 and sliding down a rainy mudslide during a rain storm and thinking to myself how silly it all was, but also how much fun I was having. Camp was the one place where my friends and I could find that strange balance of wanting to be treated maturely and be heard, but also still wanting to find the joy of feeling like a kid.
At Netop, there are certain traditions, honors, and trips that only our teenagers get to do. If campers stop coming to camp before they make it to their senior years, they miss out on 50% of their Netop experience. One bonus of having shorter sessions available is that our teenagers can have Netop as a summer option, as well as other things like a summer job, family vacation, and spending time with their home friends. And as far as getting a job is concerned, coming to camp as a teenager lines you up perfectly with a future summer job at Netop starting when you’re 17 – I have it on good authority that the Work Staff summer is one of the best summers that you will have at Netop.\
Check out this blog from the Camp Experts about some of the benefits of being a teenager at camp. I agree wholeheartedly with all of these, but numbers 2, 3, and 5 are my favorites.
Lisa Thatcher – Owner/Director, Netop Summer Camp