Opening Day 2016: Letting Go and Loving Camp

Dear LBMC parents,

Another first day of camp is almost here, and we couldn’t be more excited to get this summer started! From our first dinner in the dining hall to the last campfire of the season, we’ve got a calendar jam-packed with favorite traditions, new activities, and special surprises for every age group.

No matter whether you’re a brand-new camp parent putting your daughter on the bus for the very first time or a seasoned parent of multiple Bunk One alumnae, sending your child to camp can come with mixed emotions. You want her to learn and grow and make friends, develop new skills and build confidence. You trust that we’ll take good care of her and that she’ll be safe and healthy. And at the same time, it’s hard to let her go. When you love someone as much as we love our children, there’s a part of you that always wants to be by their side, protecting them, guiding them, and showing them how much you care about them. We understand completely! We’ve been in your shoes.

You’re going to miss your daughter this summer. You might even worry about her from time to time. And that’s OK! Those are normal feelings for any camp parent. And that’s why it’s important to remember that you are giving her an incredible gift: the gift of independence, time, and opportunity to learn more about who she wants to be.

Since we’re all parents of daughters here, let’s put it in terms we can all appreciate: Frozen.

In the Disney movie, when little Princess Elsa develops magical powers, her parents, afraid of what could happen to her, do everything they can to protect her and keep her shielded from the world. As a result, she grows up afraid of her gifts and unable to use them. But when Elsa is finally able to “let it go” and learn how to use her powers properly, she sees how they can be beautiful.

OK, so maybe your daughter doesn’t have secret magical powers. (If she does, we hope you noted that on her camper information form!) But by sending your daughter to camp, you’re doing the brave thing that Elsa’s parents couldn’t bring themselves to do. You’re letting go and allowing her to explore the talents, abilities and interests that she may not even know she has until she’s given the chance to discover them.

As a parent, letting go is hard, and it can even be scary. The great news is that when you send your daughter to camp, you’re giving her that freedom to explore her interests and talents in a setting where she’s supported, supervised, cared for and kept safe. Where you can check in to see photos and videos of her adventures, where she’s surrounded by friends and mentors, and where you know there are caring adults just a phone call away who will let you know if there’s anything she needs.

For those of us who spend the summer at camp, it’s an incredible privilege to watch these hidden talents bloom and grow — on stage, on the playing field, at the waterfront, in the art studio or the riding ring. (We haven’t had a camper develop magical ice powers yet, but anything is possible. Bryn Mawr Angels are full of surprises!) And we hope that while your daughter is at camp, you as parents will also open yourself up to the opportunities of the summer. Take some time to explore your own interests, travel, spend quality time with friends, or learn a new skill of your own. At the end of the summer, you and your Angel can compare notes and see who had the most fun!

As always, thank you for trusting us with your daughter. We know there’s no greater responsibility, and we treasure the opportunity to be part of her life. We’re ready to begin another summer of fun and self-discovery, and we can’t wait to see what this camp season will bring!

Love,

Jane and Dan

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