With the school year winding down, and so many of us are heading out on vacation, we wanted to wish everyone a happy New Year from our summer camp in NH. We know that many of you are going to spend time during these next few weeks with some of your Camp friends. Remember that we love seeing the fun our community members have with each other, so if you are campers, counselors or alumni and you get together please consider sending us a photo or two!
As I promised in yesterday’s blog, today I will elaborate on the second aspect of Scott’s trip to China. Yesterday, he spoke at Beijing Academy about the importance of young people becoming more educated in 21st century skills (also called "non-cognitive skills). Beijin Academy is the leading new education reform focused school in all of China. Scott was not the only speaker featured at this incredible event. The list included Richard Elmore from Harvard University (a leading expert in education policy and research), Ron Beghetto from the University of Connecticut (considered by some to be the leading expert in the US on creativity), Yong Zhao (professor at the University of Oregon, and the world’s leading expert on education in China), and education thought leaders from the UK and Australia. As Scott said to me when we were chatting this morning “it was pretty surreal to share a stage with them”.
Many of you may not know that Scott is in China right now. Less than 24 hours after the Boston Area Camp Reunion he hopped on a plane and flew about 20 hours to Beijing. So what is he doing there? He’s working on a couple of very exciting projects. First, and most importantly, he’s actually visiting the campers and families in China who joined our camp family in 2014.
Over the past few weeks I have been profiling some of our very talented coaches and teachers at our summer camp for 21st century skills in New Hampshire. Our staff do an incredible job simultaneously teaching both the hard skills -- like ground strokes, foul shots and throwing on the potter's wheel -- and vital non-cognitive soft skills like adaptability, critical thinking, and resilience. To understand our summer camp you really need to understand how they foster such incredible outcomes. If you missed any of them, here are some of the more recent staff profiles:
It was wonderful seeing so many of our camp friends this past Saturday. Almost 100 campers, staff and parents joined us for our annual camp reunion at the Longfellow Sports Club in Natick, MA! Many of our campers and staff had not seen each other since our closing day of the summer, and you could see how happy everyone was to be together. While most at the reunion live locally, a number of campers and staff traveled from New York, New Jersey, and even Georgia!
Last week I caught this fascinating piece on NPR's Here and Now with Professor Larry Steinberg of Temple University. Steinberg's latest book is titled “Age of Opportunity: Lessons from the New Science of Adolescence”, and it highlights all sorts of new findings coming out of research regarding adolescent brain development. It is also closely aligned with what I wrote about in a blog last month regarding the need for pre-teens to engage in healthy risk taking.
Below are two of my favorite excerpts from Steinberg's interview:
So how exactly do you run activities at a summer camp for 21st century skills? How do you teach and coach sports while also focusing on character building? In last Tuesday’s blog I profiled Andrew Disbrow, who has been the head of our ceramics program for the last 18 years. In it Andy outlined how he balances a camper’s need for learning both soft and hard skills (e.g., learning how to throw on the potter’s wheel while also becoming more creative and more independent). But how exactly do we teach skills like executing a pick and roll while also making sure that our campers learn resilience, critical thinking and collaboration?
Well, this week it is my pleasure to introduce you to Coach Chris Straker (@CoachStraker on Twitter and Instagram), the longtime head of our basketball program. Chris is the consummate Kenwood and Evergreen coach. He’s exciting, he’s passionate, and he’s incredibly nurturing. He’s an amazing sports coach, both for how he imparts technical knowledge about the game, and how he tries to help our campers grow.
New Camp Clothing Company
I wanted to share with you some of the latest news from the Camp office. Today we are thrilled to announce that we have started a new relationship with a camp clothing camp called Everything Summer Camp. We are very excited about the many new products that they will be able to offer our Camp families, and their impressive infrastructure for providing top-notch quality service. They have actually been designated as a Google Trusted Store, which means that they have gone through a rigorous certification process (similar to what we go through as an American Camp Association accredited camp). Amazingly, they will be offering our camp families a delivery time of 2 weeks from the date that an order is purchased!
We have some amazing teachers and coaches at our overnight camp in NH. We spend the fall and winter searching around the world for talented, nurturing adults who not only understand how to teach their sport or art, but are skilled at helping our campers gain technical proficiency while also developed their vital 21st century skills – skills like creativity, problem solving, flexibility, adaptibility and resilience. If you'd like to see a complete list of our activities please click here.
We hope that you had a happy Thanksgiving wherever you were. Early Wednesday morning, as we were driving south on I-84, I looked to my left and saw Ropes Course counselor Connor Saunders excitedly waving in the passing lane. Saturday afternoon, as we made our way back home, the car on the left struggled to get my attention. When they did I saw that it was bunk counselor Eli Levine and his mom and dad. Great seeing all of you on the roads (and yes, Deena took the photos so that I could safely drive!). Here’s to having such enthusiastic community members, and such an identifiable New Hampshire license plate. It reads: CAMPK&E.