As we put together our annual summer camp issue, we realize that it could also be referred to as our parenting issue. As the reminiscence by John McPhee suggests, and as the op ed piece by camp director Andy Pritikin on page 7 maintains, summer camp can be a lot more than a place where working parents park their kids while school is out.

For many readers the subject of summer camp also brings up memories of Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts. Our editor, Richard K. Rein, has his own Scout camp memories that he shares on page 50. For another view of scouting, see below.

#b#To the Editor: Scouting’s Role#/b#

Last week the Princeton community was treated to a wonderful Commonground lecture on raising resilient children by Lenore Skenazy, author of the book “Free Range Kids.” She took the opportunity to highlight the ways that modern parents can promote activities and provide environments that help kids become “smart, young, capable individuals, not invalids who need constant attention and help.”

Scouting is a way that parents can implement Lenore’s ideas. Girl Scouting and Boy Scouting use progressive experiences to prepare kids for adulthood. They promote child-led experiences and provide multiple opportunities for kids to explore and engage the world around them, all the while cultivating leadership.

Girls in Princeton have yearly opportunities to attend camp with older girls, and learn to survive and thrive without modern amenities. Their time with their troop enables them to bond, be in the company of other adult authority figures, and contribute to both their own development and the larger community. The girls practice common sense, have opportunities to challenge their comfort zone, and learn valuable skills.

Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts provide a similarly rich experience, through which boys participate in a broad array of activities and adventures. Through camping, hiking, service projects, and other outdoor activities, boys learn skills that will help them overcome obstacles and challenges with courage and character. As they grow as leaders, they learn cooperation and teamwork, as well as the importance of being active members of the community.

We hope that all parents will consider how Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, and Boy Scouts could benefit their children. And if your own childhood and adulthood has equipped you with an expertise that would benefit Scouts in Princeton, please consider joining our volunteer ranks.

Karen Freundlich, Princeton

Tracy King, Laura Felten, Girl Scouts of Princeton

Bill French, Cub Scout Pack 43

Kevin Baranowski, Cub Scout Pack 1880

Patrick Sullivan, Adrienne Rubin, Boy Scout Troop 43

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