Last week, Jason and I spent three days at the Learning and the Brain Conference in San Francisco. We attended for several reasons: to learn more about emerging neuroscience research, to determine the extent to which new "brain-learning aligned" practices have been identified, to see how our own practices aligned with this emerging information, and to determine how we must continue to learn and grow so that we can live into our mission to help children build the skills they will need to be successful and fulfilled human beings.
Slate.com published an article this morning titled "What's Holding America's Teenagers Back: Our high schools are a disaster". It outlines the many education reform efforts undertaken in the past few decades, and how all of them have fallen short of their projected goals. It also examines how improvements in reading, math, and science skills have all stagnated for our high school age students. Sadly, it appears that our nation's schools continue to fail in giving our children the skills that they need to succeed in the 21st century. The article also neglects to mention a modern American institution that is helping prepare this generation for someday join and lead the workforce: summer camps.
Read about our incredible overnight camp reunion!
Throughout the Northeast it has been incredibly cold and snowy, and Camp feels like a world away. Thankfully, we are still able to come together as a summer camp community in the midst of this harsh winter. This past Saturday a record setting 190 or so campers, 30 staff, and dozens of parents converged on the NY Sports Club in NJ for an evening of fun and friendship.
After our excited guests arrived we gathered to watch the Summer 2013 Video Yearbook, a 20-minute wrap-up of the crazy, wonderful, action-packed, emotional, friendship-filled moments of our past summer in NH. Then we split up into our different age groups to play indoor soccer, basketball, go swimming, and just enjoy being with our Camp friends. Later on, we sat and ate pizza, celebrated the birthdays of a few friends, and laughed a whole lot.
Every time we bring our community together it reminds me of how much love we feel for one another. Many of our campers and staff have not seen each other for six whole months, and yet it appeared as if everyone had been together the day before. Everyone was so relaxed, so comfortable with each other, and so happy to be forming new memories.
This year our summer camp reunion coincided with the ground hog in Punxsutawney, PA seeing his shadow. Supposedly, that means that we have 6 more weeks of winter to look forward to. What this reunion reminded me was that regardless of what the prognosticating rodent has to say, it’s only 146 days until we are all back on Eagle Pond, and it couldn’t come soon enough!