Home Request Info. Enroll Now Directions Contact
Coleman Country Day Camp in Merrick, NYDiscover Coleman CountryFuture FamiliesColeman FamiliesColeman Staff
Day Camp The Coleman Country Blog, Happy Trails

The Secret is in the Shirt

Uncategorized 4 Comments

I love Frivolous Friday! And it’s not because of the prizes!

Today is one of those days where kids get to make a statement with their clothes about their uniqueness. Okay, so in some cases, it’s the parents who are using their creative influence! To be honest, it doesn’t really matter which way we get there – either the camper has an idea of who he wants to be or a parent is functioning as a role model for spirit, teamwork, and creativity; and the child is proud to sport that look and feel a sense of belonging when she gets to camp.

So – congratulations to all who got into the act today! Of course this gives me an opportunity to also comment on the flip side of what we wear at camp. On most other days, we ask campers to wear camp t-shirts. There, too, we appreciate the parents’ role in modeling the importance of respecting the request.

Here’s the thinking: Since camp is a distinctive community, uniforms really say, “We all belong to one family;” and the camp t-shirts, emblazoned with the spirit of camp, represent a bond we have to each other. Believe it or not, wearing the same shirt helps kids relate better to one another, according to child development experts. It’s an especially great message in combination with our theme, “Stand Up.” Dressing alike is a physical symbol of standing “shoulder to shoulder.”

We wear our uniforms, campers and staff alike, with pride! It’s not an issue of individuality or conformity. And besides, at a time when every child’s body is growing at a different pace, isn’t it nice to say, “No matter?” When campers are faced with the challenge of fitting in, isn’t it great to declare, “We all belong?”

Our camp tees help punctuate that we are a separate culture, one that tells the story of a community rooted in connections and equality. Dressing alike actually makes kids more accepting of their own bodies, less likely to be teased, and in the case of little ones, easy to be independent and get dressed on their own.

Wearing the red and tan Coleman Country shirt is as liberating as Frivolous Friday!

Happy Trails!


4 Responses to “The Secret is in the Shirt”

  1. Anonymous Says:
    July 19th, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    Hi Marla! I love this post, because of the messages throughout. It is VERY nice to say that we “all belong”, and that we are all “one family.” It’s great that all of us can have an experience once in a while that is not only fun and safe, but that is also truly the only time that campers and counselors alike can focus on building character and caring about themselves, rather than caring about what others think of them. CCDC is the greatest summer experience I feel I have had in a long time.

  2. Gaga Mama Says:
    July 22nd, 2010 at 5:53 am

    I agree. there are just too many benefits of the UNIFORM camp. It’s simple but sends a very strong underlying message. It definatelly makes it easier on us, parents, to have our kids ready in the morning.
    On the other hand: the creativity soars even as I look at the photos fro camp on-line. I saw campers’ shirts: beaded, tie-died, homemade “sleeveless”, full of creative patches and iron-ons. It’s a sense of belonging for those who want a touch of individuality:) and it shows lots of camp spirit.

  3. Marla Says:
    July 22nd, 2010 at 6:42 am

    Really great point about individualizing the uniform for those who want to add their own “signature” to big picture of belonging! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Marla Says:
    July 22nd, 2010 at 6:43 am

    It’s great to have confirmation from someone “in the family!”