We understand that, for many parents, a month at Camp sounds like a long time for your daughter to be away. The truth is, it is a long time – long enough for her to really settle in to the experience and develop the independence and strength that you (and we) hope Camp will give her.
In 26 days, the Camp experience can unfold. Like long summer days, Camp stretches out in front of us, full of high-energy excitement and thrilling surprises, as well as slow, peaceful moments and time to simply be together. Camp is thrilling from the very beginning, but all of the fun cannot be had in the first week – the deep goodness we enjoy during the last week Camp is built on the foundation of three weeks of cabin times, nightly devotions, daily activities, and the bond of communal living.
In 26 days, girls get to know and share each other’s true self. The camper who is outgoing and loud will eventually be known for her deeper gifts, in addition to her out-there personality. The camper who is slow to warm up has three whole weeks to get comfortable at Camp and let herself be known by her friends and counselors. Living together for nearly a month affords campers time to develop real friendships with each other, as well as time to practice getting along and loving each other, even when it isn’t easy.
Contrary to how it may feel, sending your daughter away for a month – to a place where she is safe, cared for, and appreciated for who she is – is one of the most loving things you can do for your child. She cannot grow unless you give her the chance to step into her own strength. She cannot believe in herself until you give her the chance to be brave. Believing that she can make it without you – and that you can make it without her – is an important step in her development as a whole, courageous person.
We believe that this time is what makes the Camp DeSoto experience a foundational one. We have said for years that “a month at Camp DeSoto is an investment for a lifetime,” and it truly is. Sending your daughter to DeSoto for a month is an investment in her – her confidence, her resilience, her friendships, and her relationship with God. Sending your daughter to Camp DeSoto is one of the best gifts you will ever give her.
The first words out of my daughter’s mouth when she came home from camp were: “I had the best counselor ever and camp was amazing this year.” Wow – music to my ears!… DeSoto has impacted both of my girls in so many wonderful ways. Girls may leave DeSoto, but DeSoto never leaves the girl!