From the age of six through 16 (or so), many of my contemporaries were ensconced in camps across New England, each perched on a lake.
Some may think sending children away for that long at such young ages is slightly barbaric, but to me and many of my friends, summer camp was a given—for better or for worse. Some kids hated it, but not me. I loved it all, and learned so much about getting along in the world.
Here are 12 life lessons from summer camp:
1. Listen to your mother
Mosquitos are big and nasty during the humid summer months. Even worse when you’re near a lake. So do like your mother says—spray on the spray.
2. Find a mentor
There was an unspoken agreement that the older kids would find a younger kid to take under their wing. It made the young girls feel special and the older girls feel important.
3. Try everything once
From horseback riding to canoeing, the activities were varied and plentiful at camp. It would be have been easier to stick with what I knew—in my case, tennis—but it’s a lot more fun and interesting to try everything, at least once.
4. Avoid being a mean girl