The Psychology of Camp — An Animated Short About The Happiness Of Our Kids

By: Dr. Lauren Rutkowski

I was 28 years old when my son Oakley was born. I loved him instantly, and endlessly.

It didn’t take me long to realize there was only one thing I wanted for my baby. I wanted him to be happy.

But as Oakley grew older I found myself asking, how do I define happiness?

Society often determines happiness by how we succeed in life both academically and financially.

And while having money is nice, I think by now we all know that money doesn’t buy happiness.

After growing up in a world where everyone is glued to their phones and bombarded with images of fame and fortune, children now think their failure to achieve perfection is reflective of them not being good enough.

As a mother,I know the most important thing I can give my children are the experiences of genuine, face-to-face relationships.

And although Oakley already participates in team activities, one of the greatest sources of community came from a place I never expected, summer camp.

Summer camp is a place where kids learn, grow, and develop — and it allows them to be part of a positive community without the pressures of society and technology.

It’s a place where they can learn to live away from their phones and tablets, problem solve, and learn to safely fail and develop resilience.

A place where they can communicate compassionately with a diverse group of people

Summer camp is also a place that lets children grow in the absence of their parents.

After working with thousands of children and families at camp, I have seen the tremendous benefit that independence can give your child for life.

Everything they experience at camp allows their future self to build quality, trusting relationships that can ultimately lead to the happiness of our children.

I can easily say that after my two Phd’s in clinical and child psychology, my many years of being a camp director, and most importantly, my crazy journey as a Mother — I believe with all my heart, the summer camp environment is the perfect place to prepare a young child for a happy life.

They say it takes a village to raise a child, and I can’t think of a better village than summer camp, to raise mine.

“The Psychology of Camp”
A Camp IHC Production 
In Association With Moostache Films 
Animation by Superdoodle

Directed By: Katy Ross
Written By: Lauren Rutkowski, Dan Zelikman, Nia Alavezos

Produced By: Dan Zelikman
Executive Producers: Lauren Rutkowski, Joel Rutkowski
Designer/illustrator: Katy Ross
Background Artist and Typographer: Billmund
Lead Animator: Anna Fyda
Animators: Jaume Osman Granda, Kim Alexander and Katy Ross
Associate Producer: Alex Resnick 
Voice Over: Lauren Rutkowski

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