Benefits of Camp

We are honored to partner with parents year-round to help raise healthy, happy, independent kids. Here are some resources we’ve gathered to share with parents:


Gold Arrow Camp Director Audrey “Sunshine” Monke writes about raising responsible, happy, independent kids and the benefits of camp experiences at her blog Sunshine Parenting. She frequently posts links to parenting resources and articles on her Facebook page. Here are some popular camp-related posts:

Five Reasons Great Parents Send their Kids to Camp 10 Social Skills Kids Learn at Camp Secondary Homesickness: When Your Camper Doesn't Want to go Back to Camp
10 Parenting Tips From Camp Counselors Children Learn Social Skills at Camp Whats the Best Age for Camp?
Campers Really are HAPPY 3 Life Lessons Learned on a Tow Rope Kidsickness: Help for First-Time Camp Parents
Should I Make my Kid go to Camp? Decision Chart The-Blessing-of-the-Least-Favorite-Activity Parking Your Helicopter by Sending Your Kids to Camp!
Why Kids Flourish at Camp HomesicknessHelp 5 Reasons Every Teen Should Go To Summer Camp

Are you thinking about sending your child to sleep-away camp for the first time?

homesickandhappyHomesick and Happy
Sending your child to camp for the first time can feel really hard as a parent.  Below are some resources to help you understand why camp can be such a beneficial and life-changing experience for your child.

Michael Thompson’s book about camp, Homesick and Happy: How Time Away from Parents Can Help a Child Grow, is a great resource for parents who are concerned their child may have separation anxiety during their camp stay.

“An insightful and powerful look at the magic of summer camp—and why it is so important for children to be away from home . . . if only for a little while.

“In an age when it’s the rare child who walks to school on his own, the thought of sending your “little ones” off to sleep-away camp can be overwhelming—for you and for them. But a parent’s first instinct—to shelter their offspring above all else—actually deprives children of the major developmental milestones that occur through letting them go—and watching them come back transformed.”
-Michael Thompson

summer-camp-handbookSummer Camp Handbook
“ is the free online version of the award-winning camp prep book featured on the Today Show, Martha Stewart, NPR, and CBS News.

Websites & Articles
As we come across helpful websites and articles for our camp families about current camp-related topics, we put them here!

Wendy Mogel’s website has a lot of great parenting articles and advice.

Greater Good Science Center
Christine Carter, Ph.D, is a sociologist and happiness expert at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center. This blog is mostly science-based parenting advice. Carter is author of Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents and has her own website at

Camp Parents (American Camp Association)
Expert advice from camp professionals on camp selection, readiness, child and youth development, and issues of importance to families.

“SCREENAGERS probes into the vulnerable corners of family life, including the director’s own, and depicts messy struggles, over social media, video games, academics and internet addiction. Through surprising insights from authors and brain scientists solutions emerge on how we can empower kids to best navigate the digital world.”

One of our key philosophies is the importance of getting kids unplugged so that they can focus on building close friendships through face-to-face social interactions. We are a truly unplugged camp, with no staff or campers using any screen in camp at any time.

Unhealthy Competition
Gold Arrow Camp offers all non-competitive activities, as we feel strongly that kids need a break from all types of competition for at least a few weeks each year. This article addresses some of the concerns regarding our culture’s focus on competitive sports for youth and has an excerpt from the book Revolution in the Bleachers: How Parents Can Take Back Family Life in a World Gone Crazy Over Youth Sports, by Regan McMahon.

Nature Deficit Disorder
Those of us who have spent our summers at Gold Arrow know the value of being in nature. Read this article from the San Francisco Chronicle which reinforces the need for our kids to spend time away from electronics and in nature.

Last Updated 10/18/16