Summer Camp Diaries — Spotlight Blogger Shawn L. Fink of Awesomely Awake

Here at ActivityHero, we believe that kids’ activities including camps and classes help kids to grow, learn, and discover new passions and interests.

We interviewed inspirational writer Shawn L. Fink of Awesomely Awake about her favorite childhood memories from summer camp and what she looks for in a camp for her own kids.

What is your favorite memory of camp from childhood?

I attended 4-H camp as a girl and my favorite memory of that time was sitting around a ginormous camp fire singing songs, chanting and enjoying a traditional American Indian campfire ritual — with a modern spin, of course.

How did that camp help make you who you are today?

From the age of 8 through high school, I happily boarded a bus to go away to summer camp for a week. The only time I cried was when it was time to come home. Camp taught me a fierce level of independence. Or, perhaps I was born with that and camp only supported that personality trait. Camp gave me best friendships that have lasted a lifetime. Camp gave me confidence, originality and a respect for people I would not ever have met otherwise.

What’s the most important thing you learned from camp?

Camp taught me to think for myself. There were adults — and they became mentors — but ultimately, I had to be self-sufficient at a very early age. From packing my clothes to showering and taking care of myself, I had to learn to do for myself what my mother might have done for me. I am a very self-reliant, independent woman, almost to a fault, and I can’t help think that my years at camp may have deeply contributed to that. I am grateful for it immensely.

What is the most important thing you think kids learn from camp?

My daughters are too young to attend overnight camps as I did but they have been in several classes and are currently in gymnastics. What they are learning is that there is more to life than learning and working. They are figuring out what makes them happy, what fulfills them as people and I think that’s the most satisfying benefit of any extracurricular activity.

What do you look for in a camp for your children?

I look for price because I have twins and they almost always have to do the same thing. I look for positive adults who lead the class. My standards are pretty high. We cut out of swim lessons pretty early because the adults just weren’t warm and friendly. I also look for what makes them happy. If I’m dragging them out the door, then it’s not the right fit. If I can’t get them to practice at home, then it’s not the right fit. We have to trust that they know what is best for them.

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Want to see more of Shawn’s work? Check out Awesomely Awake for inspiring posts & projects and her book, The Playful Family.

Written by Sarah Antrim

About ActivityHero Team

The ActivityHero Team is based in California and includes staff members and bloggers who love to share what they know about parenting, keeping kids active, choosing just the right camps and classes, and running successful businesses for kids.