Why Camp? Notes from Camp – January, 2020

Hi Folks!


Let’s answer that question…”why camp?”  Why ask?  We know sometimes the idea of letting your son (or daughter) go to camp for 4 or 8 weeks can seem unusual.  Have you ever had other parents ask you why you let your kids go to camp?  You can certainly feel in your bones that camp is a great choice for your kids, but sometimes it’s hard to explain to others (and maybe even to yourself?).  Perhaps it would be helpful to have some concrete reasons.  We’re here to help!

You love your kids!  We all know that!!  And yes, the truth is you miss your kids when they are at camp.  Letting them go in spite of that is one of the most UNSELFISH gifts you as parents can give your kids.  Why?

  • The camp experience is so much fun, but it’s truly much more than that.  It is GREAT for the kids lucky enough to go to camp.
    • Abundant research shows conclusively camp-going kids are better prepared to thrive socially, academically, and emotionally than non-camp-going kids.
    • Camp-going kids learn 21st Century skills such as empathy & collaboration, critical & independent thinking, problem-solving, communication, and flexibility.  They approach the job market with a tool-kit that is unrivaled.
    • 4 or 8 weeks away from screens and technology acts as a nervous system reset for kids, and provides a critical reprieve from the physiological and social pressures that inherently come with hours in front of their phones and computers.
      • Dr. Victoria L. Dunckley’s article in Psychology Today notes how even a relatively small amount of daily screen time makes kids more moody and susceptible to irritability, and even diagnoses of depression, anxiety and AD-HD.  She writes: “Children’s brains are much more sensitive to electronics use than most of us realize. In fact, contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t take much electronic stimulation to throw a sensitive and still-developing brain off track. Interactive screen time is more likely to cause sleep, mood, and cognitive issues, because it’s more likely to cause hyperarousal and compulsive use.”  And the cool thing is, your kids DO NOT MISS THEIR GADGETS when they’re at camp.
    • Kids are physically active at camp, and many come home with new health and wellness habits they learned at camp.  Anyone doubt that active kids are healthier than their couch-sitting counter parts?
    • Camp-going kids make friends!  Friend-making is a skill camp is uniquely adept at teaching and supporting.  Loving parents want their kids to develop meaningful friendships in their lives, and many kids form friendships at camp that last their entire lives.


  • Letting your kids to to camp also provides some important benefits to parents!
    • While your kids are at camp, your house is likely a little cleaner, a little quieter, and the fridge and pantry don’t empty out quite so fast (parents of teenagers understand that!).
    • Maybe there’s a nice vacation that is more conducive to adults than families?  With kids at camp, those opportunities are more accessible.
    • Most importantly — we know that practice makes perfect, right?  Ultimately your kids will grow up and they will leave the house.  They’ll go to college, get jobs, start families, etc.  Who do you suppose is more equipped to cope when that time comes…parents who have never allowed their kids to be away or parents who have allowed their kids to spend their summers at camp?

So…why camp?  Because you love your kids that much.  A pretty good one-liner reply.

If you want to add some detail, you might include:

  • You love your kids so much you’re willing to let them be away from you for a month or two to experience all the growth in social and physical skills, in confidence and independence, and in important 21st Century skills.
  • You love them so much you NEED for them to get away from their electronics and have a nervous system reset.
  • You love your kids so much you want them to develop healthy habits and make tons of lifelong friends.

See how easy that was?


Along with the arrival of the new year, there are a few things for you to do.  The Winter Deposit ($1000/camper/4 weeks & CITs, $2000/camper/full season) is due on Jan. 15th.  If you have selected to use e-check or credit card for camp payments,  your accounts will be billed automatically.  If you chose to pay by check, please direct your payment to our winter address in Chicago:

Camp Timberlane
PO Box 13430
Chicago, IL.  60613

Thank you.

Also, our updated PARENT HANDBOOK is now online and available on your CampInTouch page.  PLEASE DOWNLOAD, PRINT, AND READ THIS HANDBOOK!!  There is a lot of info in there, so pace yourselves.  It is well-organized, and answers so many questions camp parents often have.  And, it’ll keep you on track with things like travel news, clothing & equipment lists, etc.  Please set aside some time for this.

We are your partners in all of the preparations for camp.  We’ll work with you if any questions or concerns come up.  Please check out the helpful timeline below, and know that we will always send reminders via email when important things are coming due.

Right Now!Please review all the fun documents and information on your CampInTouch page.

Parents of campers flying to/from camp should register with our travel agent and get their flights camp arranged. The sooner you do that, the better your fare will likely be. Click here to register.
January 15thWinter Deposit is due
March 15thSpring Deposit is due
May 1st Order your clothing and camp supplies from Everything Summer Camp so you can be sure to have it in time for camp.
May 15th Balance payment is due. You will receive notice in mid-April for this. Lots of paper work is due on this date too. This includes medical forms, camper info forms, etc. All of these forms are accessible from your CampInTouch page. Don’t worry, all the directions you need are in your Parent Handbook, and we'll send you abundant reminders.
June 22nd1st Session Begins! It's about time!!
July 18th1st Session Ends. Just like that.
July 19th2nd Session Begins! There...that's better.
August 13th2nd Session Ends. What can ya do?
August 14thTime to sign up for Camp 2021!


We are so happy with the incredible response we’ve had so far from our returning staff, and we have some awesome prospective new counselors we’ll be interviewing this month.  As a reminder, if you are unable to confirm your plans to return to camp, that’s okay, but have started looking for great new folks to fill our openings.  So long as a spot remains available to you, we’ll happily welcome you back. If you have any questions, please call or email us.

And remember, your staff contract is all online now on your CampInTouch page.  It’s so darn easy to sign and submit it!  Maybe you should just go ahead and do that now!!  We want you all back!


Sonya Burgess 1/3, Nathaniel Walton 1/4, Benjamin Frazier 1/7, William Sexter 1/7, Viki Korn 1/8, Cameron , rzylecki 1/8, Christian Shaeffer 1/10, Jacob Buring 1/11, Sam Salzer 1/11, William Charles 1/12, Alex Karmin 1/14, Henry Anderson 1/15, Buddy Askenazi 1/16, Jacob Teich 1/16, Joshua Thurlow 1/16, Matthew Silverman 1/17, Montisse Jamil 1/18, Miles Wacksman 1/18, Miles Settler 1/22, Charlie Smoller 1/23, Carter Kaul 1/25, Jack Berger 1/26, Hunter Neeley 1/29, Christian Wallner 1/29, Jay Carroll 1/30.


Later this month, we’ll update you on some campers and counselors who will be joining us this summer, and if you will share some stories and photos of your winter holiday escapades, we’ll share those too!

Benches up,

Mike, Leslie & Sam