January 13, 2021
Here are some great words of wisdom relating to the current pandemic and the importance of summer camp for our children, from our great friend and staff trainer, Bob Ditter. Bob is a child and adolescent therapist from Boston, Massachusetts.
PLEASE SHARE THIS WITH ANY FAMILIES THINKING ABOUT CAMP LANEY!
If the pandemic has reminded us of anything, it is that virtual connections, including social media, leave something vital out of things for us as human beings. The pandemic has made it abundantly clear that we listen with more than just our ears and we talk with more than just our mouths. The way we touch, our physical presence, the look in our eyes and the way we hold ourselves communicates with a subtle, yet essential richness we don’t miss until we don’t have it. This applies equally to our children, who need the social stimulation of other kids; the attention of interesting, appropriate and caring adults; and the sense of belonging that comes from being immersed in a supportive community –all of which is what a positive camp experience does when it is at its best!
As I’ve thought about all the kids I’ve seen at camps across the country in the last 40-plus years and all the children and teens I’ve seen in my psychotherapy practice, I realize that we have it exactly backwards. Most people think of school as essential and camp as elective. What I have come to realize is that camp gives kids that deep drink of connection, of creativity and of inspiration that grounds them and fortifies them for the demands of the rest of the school year. Socialization and deep relationships are not a frivolous add-on for kids –they are not “elective.” They are the essential core ingredients that are the key to all other kinds of growth and maturation young people experience throughout the rest of the year.
–Bob Ditter, Child and Adolescent Therapist National and International Camp Consultant and Trainer
Full-Time Associate Director
Whitney has been on staff full-time since 1994. He started coming to camp in 1977 and has never missed a summer. He and his wife Rita live in Mentone, Alabama year round.