In Parents’ Own Words – Confidence & Self-Esteem

At the end of the summer of 2019, 97.6% of parents who responded to our survey said that they would recommend Camp Kodiak to a friend. In addition to filling out the survey, over 50 people opted to leave comments to be used as testimonials about the work we do at Kodiak. Over the next few weeks, I will be compiling some of these testimonials into blog posts about a few of the major themes that emerged. 

Today’s blog is a collection of parent comments about their camper’s confidence and self-esteem after a summer at Camp Kodiak.

“Our 16-year-old son has been attending Kodiak since age 8 and looks forward to returning every single year…. We could not be more thrilled about the positive impact Camp Kodiak has had on our son’s confidence and overall belief about what he can achieve in life.”

“Our daughter has had a hard time socially most of her time through elementary school. It has been a real struggle for all of us. But going to Camp Kodiak and being really understood has had an immeasurable impact on her. She comes back happy and confident in herself and her abilities. This will have a long-term impact on the rest of her life without question. We look forward to her going back and growing emotionally and socially amongst the beautiful environmental setting of Camp Kodiak. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for everything you do!”

“Camp Kodiak has been a fantastic experience for our daughter. She has been supported in finding a community where she feels safe, she can have fun and she has built her confidence. The counsellors have been mature and thoughtful. A great camp!”

“My daughter returned from camp with confidence. It was wonderful for her to feel like she fit in. She made lots of friends. She loved all the activities. Her experience at camp has carried over to her having a wonderful start to her school year. Thank you, Camp Kodiak!”

“Kodiak Junior was an incredibly positive and confidence-building experience for our son.”

“This was my daughter’s 3rd summer at Kodiak. In every letter she wrote and when she got home, she told me she had the best summer ever. I saw her independence grow and her confidence soar. She couldn’t wait to tell me about all of the things she was able to accomplish this summer, from getting up on water skis, to passing her area 3 swim test. She made amazing friendships this summer and had great relationships with the counsellors. Every time I asked her if there was anything she didn’t like about camp, she could never think of anything! I can’t say enough good things about Camp Kodiak. It truly has become my daughter’s summer home away from home, and a place where she thrives. She is already talking about next summer and how long it will be before she can go back. Thank you Camp Kodiak for another amazing summer.”

“My son has found tremendous success at Camp Kodiak and brings that home with him. He may not be able to compete with other children, but Kodiak has taught him he can attempt any activity. He is confident that if the activity is broken down in enough steps – he can get it done. He believes in himself – and I sure couldn’t teach that!!”

“When you see your son’s face, his smile, the confidence that is building in him, his comfort level with this group of people, you know this is where he belongs, this is a magical place, they perform miracles here. My son definitely feels like it is his home away from home.”

As parents, we have all had the experience of watching our children fail at something that was important to them and feel totally deflated. We have seen them miss the game-winning shot, forget everything they studied for the test, or not get invited to a social event, and we have seen the impact these experiences have on our children’s confidence and self-perception. Our job, then, is to huddle up and try to pour enough positive and successful experiences back into them so that they can go back out and try the hard things again. That is what a summer at Camp Kodiak can do for your child. After what feels like a school year of dropping the ball, Camp Kodiak gives campers so many successful experiences, so many challenges met, and so many tools for moving on that they have the strength and confidence to try again. If your family has not yet experienced the magic of Camp Kodiak first-hand, go to our website ( to fill out an application to get started on building confidence in the summer of 2020.

About the Author

Shari Stoch

Shari has worked at Camp Kodiak since it began in 1991. She has been the Academic Director since 2010, and is one of the Camp Directors. During the year, Shari works for the Peel District School Board as a special education teacher. She earned her Masters of Education from Queen’s University.