Considering a sleepaway camp for your kids this summer?  I'm a fan.  I've written about it in a new article at Mom.me.  Here's an excerpt: ------------------

I’m a sleepaway summer camp convert. Four years ago, when my husband and I decided to send our 9-year-old son to camp for two weeks, I was reluctant. But we knew the camp director personally, our son was ready and excited, he had a friend going with him, and my husband had visited the camp and convinced me to loosen my anxious grip.

Now, this summer, my son will return to that camp—he goes for four weeks now—and his younger 9-year-old brother will go for his first two weeks.

What converted me from my nervous reluctance and made me such an evangelistic proponent of sleepaway camp? There were lots of factors, but here are my top four:

Time away from electronics. Studies show that the stress hormone cortisol decreases significantly when people spend time in nature. And while I’m not anti-electronics, I do love knowing that my boys will be spending significant amounts of time this summer in the lake and woods, without access to any video games, social networking or even email.

Members of a community. At camp, kids stay in cabins with children from different regions and walks of life. They set tables together, perform daily rituals, and build deep friendships with kids they might not otherwise be friends with. Not only are they exposed to different types of people, but they also have to find ways to get along with them, and to work with them as they develop new relationships.

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