Archive for January, 2011
Water cooler conversations all over the USA were buzzing about Amy Chua’s new parenting book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. So we would like to share with you our “bubbler” (what we call the water cooler/water fountain at ALC) chats on this book!
Parenting books are always on our radar! We recognize the ever changing challenges and concerns parents have as they raise their children. Through the years we have found truths in books that encourage parents to consider the need for balance in their children’s lives. We cheer for books that recognize the need for positive role models, outdoor experiences, etc., etc. We bet you have read a few of the parenting books that we keep on our bookshelves! Let us be clear: we know that parenting is challenging and there is no one right way! Our sons and daughters, our families, our cultures and communities shape the way we parent and ALC respects and applauds how varied our families approach parenting opportunities.
Yet, we were saddened to read that among the “never allowed” activities the author declared for her two daughters was “sleep away camp”, justifying this as her desire to keep her daughters focused on academics and musical aspirations. Ahh… yet we KNOW and have seen that residential camp experiences can enrich and improve the knowledge of young women’s lives. Learning to make INDEPENDENT activity choices, gaining valuable skills in living with peers and navigating personal responsibilities are all part of the value of ALC. Self-confidence comes through self-awareness. Community living is the basis of future relationships: work, school and family lives. Allowing children to live away from their families, for a time, is the fundamental and exciting part of residential camping. Summers at ALC provide unique opportunities which allow campers to learn about themselves and others ultimately enhancing their personal and academic growth.
In his recent column, “New York Times” Columnist David Brooks articulated some of our feelings regarding the importance of independent social activities for children that we know lead to significant personal growth and development. We urge you to read his column. And then let us know what you think!
Thank you for sharing this “water bubbler” moment with us!
Betsy Brayley, Assistant Director