Blog Archives

Succeeding at Failure

By Bill McMahon, Director

The recent New York Times article “On Campus Failure Is on the Syllabus” highlights that the most selective colleges are seeing an increasing percentage of their students showing high levels of stress, depression, and the need for counseling. What is most interesting about this phenomenon is that the mental health issues are not from what we would normally consider traumatic events, but from the basic struggles of college life,

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The More Parents Help, the More They Can Hurt

By Bill McMahon, Director

“How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Over parenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success” is a recent book that has received significant press and attention, in part, because the author–Julie Lythcott-Haims–was the dean of freshmen at Stanford.

Here is the book’s thesis in a nutshell: our young adults today are not happy, healthy, or resilient; this is especially true of the elite achievers at hyper selective schools;

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The Art of Fostering Skill Acquisition and Self Esteem in Boys

By Bill McMahon, Co-Director

DSCN5116As I have written before, our overarching goal at Moosilauke is to help create confident, resilient, honorable, and happy boys and young men.

To achieve our goal we have a laser like focus on a few essential philosophies and practices.  It all starts with positive risk taking since it is through encountering and overcoming failure that  performance character traits like grit, resilience, and tenacity are created.

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Peer Culture: How a Camp Creates a Great One

by Bill McMahon, Co-Director

IMG_0076As I have referenced in other writings, it is our firm belief at Moosilauke that the most powerful factor in the life of a camper (especially a teenage camper) is the peer culture he is immersed in.

Peer cultures come in many flavors. Without a few important factors in place they can easily spin negative–“lord of the flies” negative. Negative boy peer cultures are easy to spot: there is significant teasing;

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How a Great Camp Can Help Your Child Build Essential Coping Skills

By Bill McMahon, Co-Director

Parents, and individuals working with kids, are constantly asking themselves the same simple questions:  What is our role in their growth process?  What should we be doing, and not doing?  What should be our/their focus?

Best-selling author and psychologist Madeline Levine is a great resource when it comes to these important issues.  Her most recent book, Teach Your Children Well: Parenting for Authentic Success, was described by the New York Times as a “cri de coeur from a clinician on the front lines of the battle between our better natures — parents’ deep and true love and concern for their kids — and our culture’s worst competitive and materialistic influences.”  In the book she highlights a type of parenting that we can all fall into which she believes is very detrimental to kids.  

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