The Art of Building Friendships

WITH Sam Borek, Woodmont Day Camp

Sam Borek - Friendships.png

This podcast is sponsored by SCOPE, an amazing organization that helps to send children from financially disadvantaged families to summer camp. You can learn more about SCOPE online and through social media @supportscope.

My friend Sam Borek practices the art of friendship as well as anyone I know.

And, having shared a number of families between our two camps, I know he, his bride Ilisha, and their team at Woodmont Day Camp teach the art of building friendships to kids incredibly well.

Along with Ilisha, Sam has dedicated his life to working in the world of children’s summer camps. Sam started as the Program Director at Camp Laurel in Maine and the Administrative Director of Elmwood Day Camp in White Plains, New York. Along with running Woodmont Day Camp with Ilisha and their fantastic team, Sam also serves as the President of the American Camp Association New York/New Jersey section which oversees hundreds of both day and residential camps.  

The Harvard Longitudinal Study found the quality of a person’s relationships is one of the most important factors in a happy, healthy life. This is something we’ve always known, yes? That’s why its so important that we parents, teachers, and coaches learn as much as we can about building friendships.

There are very few spots like camp in which to build lasting friendships. The community in which we live, work and play focuses on drawing out each person’s ‘best self’ and surrounding them with those who celebrate these moments. I hope you’ll take a few minutes to listen to Sam speak about teaching our children to build lasting friendships. He’s got a lot of great experience to share. (Even if he is a Gator….)


Audrey Monke has written quite a bit about friendship on the American Camp Association website. Frankly, there is a ton of great reading for parents at that site. Take a while to peruse their writing and research.

Dr. Michael Thompson has been one of the more important authors and thinkers in my professional life. His Best Friends, Worst Enemies is an important read for any one working with children.

Dr. Eileen Kennedy-Moore and Christine McLaughlin have written a wonderful book on building friendships for young people called Growing Friendships: A Kids Guide to Making and Keeping Friends.

And, yes, because Sam mentioned it, Dr. Vogel’s Blessings of a Skinned Knee does talk about friendships, too!