One of the best things about my work is getting to connect with like-minded people from across the country (and globe). This past Winter, I had the chance to speak with Audrey Monke, founder of the Gold Arrow Camp in California and author of the forthcoming book, Happy Campers: 9 Summer Camp Secrets for Raising Kids Who Become Thriving Adults.
Audrey sent me an advance copy of the book and I have only superlative words to tell you how fantastic it is! Here’s how I describe it:
Although I just got my copy of Happy Campers, by Audrey Monke, you would think I had owned it for years already given the multitude of dog-eared pages, the massive amount of notes in the margins, and the number of parents I’ve already lent the book to, urging them to read specific sections. Happy Campers is the brand-new, but already well-worn book I wish I had had twenty years ago when I first started my career working with children and families. It is full of practical, realistic, easy-to-implement, no-cost, research-based, transformational strategies that will help parents and caregivers bring the magic of summer camp into daily home interactions.
Happy Campers shines a light on nine overall positive practices used in quality summer camps and offers readers dozens (and dozens!) of ways to use these strategies to help kids and families thrive year-round. Starting with ideas for building nurturing connections between family members and then exploring critical topics such as the importance of optimism in interactions, how to nurture grit and determination, helping kids experience independence and grow their individual identities, making kindness cool, building healthy friendship skills, and cultivating the kind of self-confidence that makes kids unstoppable, Monke’s book is as realistic and readable as it is invaluable. As a School Counselor, therapist, and parent, Happy Campers is everything I could hope for in a book and more! I highly recommend it for anyone living or working with young people!