Questions I have about camp and mission trips: Question 2 of 3
How much is too much freedom for preteens at camp?
My number one goal with this blog (and with Question #1 and Question #3) is NOT to share some nugget of truth that I’ve discovered along the way. Because, honestly, this is a question that I have not reached a conclusion to for myself.
My number one goal is to generate discussion. So, PLEASE share your thoughts on this topic in the comment section below.
Here’s the thing…
I spoke at a camp recently and noticed that they had A LOT of freedom for the preteens that attended. They even had a free time from 8:30pm-11pm. There were kids climbing a mountain in the dark were there were no leaders present. Nobody got hurt, and there were probably some great moments of feeling very autonomous for the 9-12 year olds present. But…I don’t know – it just seemed like too much. Am I alone in thinking that?
At our summer camp, we have a lot of chances for choices throughout the day, but the students are guided and there is always a leader present. We do have two and a half hours of time each afternoon when the students can go with a pre-selected buddy to 1 of our 5 different “zones” and do activities of their choice. At each zone, we have leaders stationed, and we have leaders also wandering around checking in with students. But this is what I think the students would refer to as “free time”.
Is this too little free time? How much do you loosen the reigns at your camp? In other words…
How do you LET GO OF THE BIKE, but still RUN ALONGSIDE, when you bring preteens to camp?
What are your thoughts about all this? Share in the comment section below.
Postscript: In the comments, Elissa asked to see a copy of the schedule for our camp…here it is: Overall Schedule 2014 (The time from Lunch to Chapel is our “Free Time”, as described above.)