Monday, July 29, 2013

Parental "No" Files: WTF is a "Cabin Party" for 8 Year Olds?

My oldest girl is spending a week at sleepaway camp this summer.

We received an email last week from the camp that included packing lists and various logistical information. This note was included,
"Campers are encouraged to bring a snack with them to share during their cabin party on the first night."
We called the camp to double check on what we were supposed to send snack wise for this "cabin party" and we were told generally campers bring chips, candies, and chocolates.

It's a junk food fest, and no doubt it's easier than ice breaker games to make kids happy, but is it really necessary, or in our children's best interests, to tie junk food to summer camp with their first experience literally being a candy crush?

And what if we wanted to opt out?

Well I suppose we could not send our daughter to camp in the first place. Or we could encourage our shy 8 year old to say, "No" and in so doing put herself in the spotlight of, "that kid's weird", or we could send her with "healthful" snacks and again risk her peers' childlike judgement.

Or we could sigh, buy her a family sized bag of chips, send her on her way, and further resent the fact that the world doesn't even try anymore to entertain or reward children with anything other than candy and that we feel, as parents, that to resist in this circumstance is not in the best interest of our child.

And 4 hours after this post goes live, that last option is exactly what we'll be doing.