Q. Why did you go to camp?
A: My mother was a big believer in summer camp. She had gone in her day. She believed they helped kids develop a sense of independence, lifelong friends, and a deep appreciation for nature. She was right on all counts!
Q. What is your favourite memory from camp?
A. I have many "favourite" memories. The sound of the creek after lights out as I lay in bed, drifting off to sleep. The three-day horseback expeditions into Colorado's back country. The cold crisp air in the morning. The smell of the food making hungry kids even hungrier. The counsellors who were leaders, role models, and big kids.
Q. How has camp affected your career success today?
A. I have a deeper appreciation of nature, the importance of the basics of life and the capacity we each have to excel. Through it all, however, is a sense of team and what can be accomplished when a group of people actually works together.
Q. How has it affected your personality?
A. I think camp has made me more independent and more persistent. I remember those long hikes, the mountains we climbed, the peaks we scaled. Sometimes it seemed like the march would go on forever. But when we reached the summit, it was all worth it. I guess that cycle of challenge and accomplishment are very much a part of my personality. It may have gotten its start during those long summer hikes.
Q. Why is summer camp important?
A. It builds a sense of self, of self-reliance and independence at a time when parents and social structures still play a dominant role. For those weeks away at camp, it's just you - no parental prodding and far fewer modern distractions. It's an ideal, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get to know self and others.
Q. What advice would you give parents who are afraid to send their kids to summer camp?
A. Let go. They'll be fine. Better than fine. They'll thrive. They'll discover themselves, explore new experiences, make friendships that, in some cases, will last a lifetime. All my kids went to camp and all of them are the better, deeper, happier for it.