Every summer that my daughter Julia spends at overnight summer camp in Maine is the best summer ever! She unplugs from technology and leaves the school year stresses behind. She gets to swim in a crystal clear lake and smell pine in the air as she spends time with camp friends, has fun adventures, and gets to do things she doesn't do at home like waterski and sail. She gains confidence and independence, and learns to be responsible for things like keeping her cabin and her cubby clean. From one important life lesson learned, she told me, "It's smart to wear a ponytail on pancake day so you don't get syrup in your hair." (lol) I love reading the letters Julia writes about her experiences at her summer "home away from home." And, I can't wait to see her this weekend at Visiting Day where I, too, will enjoy a little Maine magic. While she's only been gone a short time, I know she will seem a little taller, a little older, and a little more grown up as she leads us to her favorite activities, and introduces us to her friends and counselors. We've given her the roots and wings and I'm proud that she flies ... actually soars! Back home, while I miss her, I also get the opportunity to recharge. In fact, Jerry the guy who helps me at my local bagel store just said to me, "Laurie, you look a LOT more relaxed than you do during the year." (Who knew that the daily grind of chauffeuring kids to after-school activities and playdates, helping with homework and school projects, and everything else was taking such an obvious and visible toll?!) As the Campcierge™ for a community of summer camps (Maine Camp Experience), it's been my pleasure to help families from across the US and other countries, too, find the right summer camp in Maine for their kids. As a mom of a Maine camper now in her second year, I see the benefits firsthand and know why 20,000 kids go to summer camp in Maine each year. I hope every family has the opportunity to give their child this everlasting gift of the BEST SUMMER EVER!