Community Service Summer Camps for 12YO?
My son has been attending fun-filled summer camps every year for his whole childhood. He is 12 now and I'm starting to think this is no longer a good thing. He is developing a sense of entitlement about every summer and every school break—as if it is meant to be all about him at all times.
He also doesn't believe me when I tell him not all kids get to go to camp, that many kids live in apartments or homeless shelters instead of houses, that lots of families go to the laundromat because they don't have washers and dryers where they live, etc., etc. As my words were having no impact, I had him watch a documentary about poverty in America. He said it was sad but nobody he knows in Berkeley lives like that so he should still get to do all the fabulous things that all the wealthy Berkeley families do.
Mind you, we don't live like a super wealthy family. We drive an old used car, have never had a video game player, we have not given him an iPhone or a tablet, we have not taken him on any vacations out of the country or to expensive resorts, his life is not filled with material stuff in any sense. But maybe we have made the mistake of believing it is our job to ensure all of his days are filled with fun activities. It makes me sad that he doesn't see his life as one filled with good-fortune, but instead as something his parents are "supposed" to give to him.
I would like to change this by helping him to discover the joy of contributing to others instead of just the joy of his own entertainment. I'm going to sign us up to volunteer at a shelter on the weekends, but I really also want to find a sleepaway summer camp that is about helping others. And not the kind of "helping" that flies kids off to Puerto Rico or Barcelona for an exciting adventure in the guise of a "volunteer opportunity," which seems to be the only thing I can find online.
Would love to hear if any of you have found something like this.