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I had a few ideas for a blog, but then I saw this email from a family that left on Saturday. It made my day. I hope it helps you feel more excited about camp, too.

[Start letter] Hi Steve Sir and Susie Ma’am,

Since we picked up our daughter from camp on Sat morning, we’ve noticed a big change!

Over the past 2 years, the pandemic and friend challenges have had a pretty significant impact on her social emotional well being.

She attended camp last summer for one week and to be honest, we really had to push her towards going back this summer for 2 weeks. She’s become pretty introverted and the pre-teen self consciousness has started to set in. It’s been hard for us to watch.

We were nervous but really, really hoped camp this summer would help to shift her mindset.

We hardly recognized the kid we picked up! She greeted us with a huge smile and couldn’t stop talking about all of the new friends she made, all of the activities she did (many of which were surprising) and on and on and on… She talked non-stop on the car ride home, telling stories, singing camp songs, the whole bit. She even pulled out a handwritten note with some specific things she wanted to be sure she didn’t forget to tell us! :)

I know how much Camp Champions is a labor of love for you, the fantastic counselors and the entire staff. You have it dialed-in so well that your blog posts nailed our exact emotions as parents - did we do the right thing? is she going to be ok? sure hope this is a “make it” not “break it” situation. And, when the “I want to come home” letter arrived, just as you said it would, we were ready. The best part is when she got home and saw the letter and said “that was just the first couple of days and then I was fine,” She talked about how it was hard at first but how she tried new things and was open-minded. This was just the a turning point we needed for her to better develop that resilience and self confidence that had been fading.

Thank you for caring for our child over the past 2 weeks and teaching the 4 R’s. We are seeing them continuing to be practiced at home and couldn’t be any happier with this outcome.

From the bottom of our hearts, we cannot thank you enough. [End Letter]

Few things are as motivating as a letter like this. It certainly put a pep in our step!

Steve Sir