By: Natalie Madanick, Alumni
There comes a time in every child’s life when parents need to lovingly rip off the Band-Aid. The reins are loosened, reluctantly, and that first taste of freedom can be seen burning in their eyes.
For me and my husband, Doug, that feeling came in arguably the greatest decade – the Eighties, when we first attended JCC Camps at Medford. The friends that we made and the lessons we learned during our formative years have become important parts of our lives. Our experience with the JCC Camps began then and has continued steadily over the years, first with my younger sister and then onto my own two children. In the years that my kids (Jackson who is 10, and Charli who is 7 going on 27) have gone to JCC Camps at Medford, the joy that Camp Season has brought them has consistently gone unrivalled.
As a professional health coach, I’ve focused my energy and education on the concept of wellness. It should be reminded that the term “wellness” also includes mental health, a topic that should be at the forefront of our conversations about children – especially after going through the whirlwind of 2020.
In the age of so much technology and stimulation, there’s no other camp that could give my children real outdoor natural wellness. Give’em some bug juice, a gaga ball and their “camp friends” and they’re all set. I like to leave it to the pros.
For my husband and I, the friendships that were forged back when our hairstyles were nothing less than questionable, have popped up time and time again as we have reconnected with fellow campers through their own family involvement.
It’s this sense of community and extended family, a closeness that can only be shared by those who have been there, that I cherish and am proud to pass on to Jackson and Charli. The friends they make now will be the parents of their own children’s camp besties in the not-so-distant future.
Giving your child time to grow in a JCC camp environment is one of the greatest gifts you can give. Whether we meet in person, on video chat, or out in the community during uncertain times, JCC Camps at Medford has truly given my family a big dose of wellness and the ingredients that my children need for their mental health to continue to thrive.