Parents Start “Common Sense Camp” To Teach Basic Life Skills

With camps canceled this year, parenting coach and educator Oona Hanson and her husband,Paul, were looking at a long summer at home with their kids. They had joked for years that they should teach their children some of life’s basic but necessary skills, so they decided to do it and “Common Sense Camp” became a reality.

This summer, 17-year-old Gwendolynand 12-year-old Harris will be learning life skills from their mom and dad, who are using the book, “How to Be a Person: 65 Hugely Useful, Super-Important Skills to Learn Before You've Grown Up” as a sort of camp manual. Each of the eight themed weeks will focus on a different set of skills, with themes including “kitchen confidence,” “safety and emergency preparedness” and less physical lessons like “social skills” and “anti-racism.”

The book uses short, step-by-step, illustrated instructions to teach everything from how to apologize to how to plunge a toilet. While the Hansons can’t recreate the full camp experience at home, they’re doing a DIY camp-like structure to give their teen and tween the sense of independence they get from camp. They’re also making time for typical camp fun, like making friendship bracelets and s’mores and the family even made camp t-shirts to make it official.