Mom goes viral for creating ‘How To Be A Person’ summer camp—because it’s genius

Mom goes viral for "how to be a person" camp

Do you ever find yourself feeling overwhelmed by the sheer amount of life skills we’re expected to teach our children? There are chores and skills and tasks for every phase and stage, and it’s our job to help our kids master them. If you feel this way, or find yourself wondering, “When should I be teaching them how to do ____?” then this post is for you.

Utah mom of four Kaitlyn Rowe created her own summer camp for her kids that she calls How To Be A Person camp. She shared the camp list and ideas on her Instagram account, and it’s no wonder her post blew up. Because we all just want our kiddos to learn how to, well, be people who can effectively function in society.

In the post, Rowe outlines activities under the headline of “How To Be A Person Camp” to help her teach her 6-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son key life skills.

“I’ve always thought it was such a good idea. So, I started making a list on my phone of ideas for my kids or what they could work on,” Rowe tells “Good Morning America.” “This summer, I didn’t sign them up for camps, I didn’t do anything like that and they’re not in school, obviously, so I thought it would be a good time to try it out.”

Each list—there’s one for each child, and then a master list for both—is customized to ages and stages. Her 6-year-old’s tasks include learning how to scramble an egg, trim her nails, fix her own hair, separate the trash, how to pack her own lunch, etc. Her toddler’s list contains tasks like learning how to make his bed, how to write his name, how to clean up his toys, and how to get his own drink. (Both kiddos need to learn how to floss properly and empty the dishwasher, and dust, for example.)

These tasks are not only fundamental to their development, but they’re essential for learning how to become independent and how to exist in society. Even if what they’re learning is simple, it’s still so very important.

Rowe borrowed the idea from a fellow mom Emily Ley, who told “GMA” she has been running her version of “How To Be A Person Camp” for the last three years.

“We started doing this when COVID was happening and we were all quarantined and just trying to find things to do here at home,” Ley, author and founder of the planner company Simplified, told GMA. “I was really overwhelmed with all I was doing as a mom and working and homeschooling kids all of a sudden, and so, I knew if I could help them with some age-appropriate independence, it would also help me as well — and they just love the idea of being more grown up and knowing how to do things that I used to do just for them, and so they jumped right in.”

Rowe says her have, so far, really enjoyed learning how to “become a person” during their family camp.

“This is something that they have really enjoyed and I think it’s just the idea of, ‘I’m doing adult things. I’m being independent.’ And so they’ve just loved doing it,” Rowe said.

A version of this post was published June 21, 2023. It has been updated.