It’s a frequent question these days. “What are your kids doing this summer? Are they going to camp?”
When I respond that, yes, in fact, two of my kids are going to camp, the follow-up question is always, “Who are they going with?”
The answer is no one. My kids didn’t sign up with anyone from school. Beginning a decade ago, when my oldest child first ventured into the world of summer camps, we tried to find an option where no one from her class would be attending.
I’ve noticed that as children move from elementary school into middle school, there is a developmental shake-out of their social groups. Even with the positive impacts of school-wide kindness campaigns, bullying prevention initiatives, and the integration of social and emotional learning, most classes still have their queen bees and kingpins. The most powerful kids enjoy a strong influence over how their classmates treat others.