Perhaps we are ahead of the times! Check out this article about about fines for chewing gum!
$5 fine for chewing gum? Parents, students protest discipline policy
By Sylvia Wood, msnbc.com
A charter school network in Chicago praised by Mayor Rahm Emanuel for its academic performance is under fire from parents and advocates for charging students $5 for some disciplinary infractions, including chewing gum, violating the dress code or being more than three minutes late to class.
The Noble Network of Charter Schools, which operates 10 high schools in the city, said it collected nearly $200,000 in discipline fees last year as part of a policy that asks misbehaving high school students to share in the cost of addressing the misbehavior. The money is then used by the school to offset the costs of teachers or staff who stay after school to administer detention.
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We recently came across this article about how Summer Camp gives College students a distinct advantage! Our College aged alumni would definitely agree.
S’mores and More
What summer camp can teach us
by Steve Baskin
When I started my career as a camp director in 1993, my mother (the “Silver Fox”) shared the following thought with me: “summer camp is like college, but just a little bit early”.
Being a strong believer in my mother’s wisdom, I found myself thinking about this statement fairly often. Summer camp had been a huge part of my personal development as a young man, and had even found its way into my college and graduate school applications. Yet the idea that “camp was like college” did not seem to make sense to me at the time.
Over the past 16 years, I have found that this idea is actually a profound one.
Three years ago, we were talking with a friend whose daughter was in her first year at college. Both mother and daughter had struggled mightily with the separation. “During the first semester, we would talk everyday, sometimes 5 or 6 times. She was so sad and uncomfortable away from home. It really affected her grades and social life. She is better in her second semester, and she only calls once or twice a day. I still worry about her though.”
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As we come across interesting articles, we are happy to pass them on to our camp families; this appeared recently in The Wall Street Journal,discussing the challenges of the adolescent teenage years.
“What was he thinking?” It’s the familiar cry of bewildered parents trying to understand why their teenagers act the way they do.
How does the boy who can thoughtfully explain the reasons never to drink and drive end up in a drunken crash? Why does the girl who knows all about birth control find herself pregnant by a boy she doesn’t even like? What happened to the gifted, imaginative child who excelled through high school but then dropped out of college, drifted from job to job and now lives in his parents’ basement?
Adolescence has always been troubled, but for reasons that are somewhat mysterious, puberty is now kicking in at an earlier and earlier age. A leading theory points to changes in energy balance as children eat more and move less.
At the same time, first with the industrial revolution and then even more dramatically with the information revolution, children have come to take on adult roles later and later. Five hundred years ago, Shakespeare knew that the emotionally intense combination of teenage sexuality and peer-induced risk could be tragic—witness “Romeo and Juliet.” But, on the other hand, if not for fate, 13-year-old Juliet would have become a wife and mother within a year or two.
Our Juliets (as parents longing for grandchildren will recognize with a sigh) may experience the tumult of love for 20 years before they settle down into motherhood. And our Romeos may be poetic lunatics under the influence of Queen Mab until they are well into graduate school.
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This article by Michael Ungar, Ph.D. underlines one of the benefits of the sleep-away camp experience.
I recently spoke to 300 camp directors about how to make children more resilient to life stress. Summer camps, we discovered, are perfect places to help children optimize their psychosocial development.
After all, summer camps are places where children get the experiences they need to bolster their range of coping strategies. There are the simple challenges of learning how to build a fire, going on a hike, or conquering a high ropes course. There are the much more complex challenges of getting along with a new group of peers, learning how to ask for help from others, or taking manageable amount of risks without a parent following after you.
The best camping experiences offer these opportunities for manageable amounts of risk and responsibility, what I term “the risk takers advantage” (see my book Too Safe for Their Own Good for more examples). The worst camps pander to children as if they are entitled little creatures whose parents are paying big sums of money. Children at camp can’t be treated like customers if they are going to get anything out of the experience. They need to be treated like students whose caregivers, the counselors, know what the kids need to grow.
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