Mom-Director Spotlight: Melissa Houston | Kanakuk Kamps
Mom-Director Spotlight: Melissa Houston

At Kamp we are blessed to be surrounded by amazing leadership. The next few months, we want to take the time to highlight a few of our Kamp Directors, who are also moms, to share their insight about being a mom and sending kids to Kanakuk!


This month, we want to highlight Melissa Houston, our K-1 Women’s Director as she breaks down three key aspects of preparing for Kamp, trusting the process and continuing the conversation when Kampers get home.


Preparing for Kamp

It’s natural to fear the unknown—especially when it comes to your children. What if they’re unhappy? What if they’re homesick? What if they need you? The best way to cure a case of the “what if’s” is to remember why you invested in this experience for your child in the first place. Spending time away from the comforts of home is an integral part of the growing up process, and summer camp can often be one of the most empowering experiences in a child’s life.


At Kamp, your children will make new friends, learn new skills and settle into new environments. These experiences will teach them not to fear the unfamiliar, but rather to embrace it as an opportunity for growth.


In the months leading up to Kamp, it’s important to maintain an open dialogue with your child to discuss all aspects of Kamp—from anxiety to excitement. Speak confidence and positivity over them. When we cater to fear, we allow our children to believe in fear; instead, we want to teach them that they can do it! Be sure to talk about how much fun they will have, and don’t dwell too much on the fact of how much you’re going to miss them while they’re gone.


As a parent, you’ll be met with the strange realization that you won’t be able to control every situation your child will enter into. In these moments, it’s important to choose trust over fear, and encourage your child to do the same.


Trusting the Process

While your kids are at Kamp, trust that they’re in the best possible hands—the hands of the Kanakuk staff, and the hands of God.


At K-1, we tuck our Kampers in every night, and we make sure to ask them about their days. This aspect allows the Kamper to feel more at home and gives us all the chance to focus on each child.


When Kampers feel homesick, we remind them of what a blessing it is to have a loving family waiting for them back home. The high-energy, activity-filled environment of Kamp helps to replace homesickness with fun for the majority of the day. By the end of the summer, Kampers who struggled with homesickness in Week 1 have usually found a sense of independence and emotional strength from having triumphed over it.


At Kamp, we do everything we can to comfort kids and parents alike. We want every interaction with Kamp to be a confirmation of Mom’s good decision—even down to the way a trunk comes back home, with clothes folded and everything organized like Day 1.


Continuing the Conversation

The Kamp conversation doesn’t have to end when your child returns home. In fact, we encourage parents to talk with their kids about their experiences while away at Kamp.


It’s great to discuss what your kids learned, as well as the why behind all of it. You’ll be amazed at how your kids have grown in faith, character and confidence. You might also be surprised to find that the time apart has actually strengthened your relationship with your child in ways you never thought possible.

At the end of the day, just remember that so many in leadership at Kamp are parents too. We care about your kids like they’re our own. We feel their pain, celebrate their triumphs and miss them when they go. We may not be their parents, but we’re doing everything in our power to keep them safe and happy as if we were. We’re honored to be part of your children's life and that you allow us to spend time with them every summer!