Maybe the question is what didn't we do at camp today! We offered 35 different fun and exciting activities, including team and individual sports, visual and performing arts, outdoor adventure, and more. And we pretty much had the best day ever! So what exactly did we do at camp today?
So here's my favorite story of the day: At breakfast this morning one of our newest, youngest campers from Westchester, NY turned to his counselor and said "I just want to go home". The counselor was completely caught off guard by this, and with a sinking feeling in his chest gingerly asked "what do you mean?" The young man replied "you know, the bunk. Where we live. Can we go back there now? I like it there".
When you feel connected to the people around you life somehow feels easier. When you feel attached and supported by the institutions in your life, adapting to changes somehow becomes easier, more manageable. It’s even been reported in the Journal of Science that feeling disconnected from peers and social groups can be as detrimental to your health as smoking, high blood pressure or obesity. During 7 weeks of overnight camp, feeling a bond with your fellow campers and counselors can be the difference between occasional bouts of homesickness (something that even happens to the most seasoned camper…or director) and separation anxiety that lasts throughout the summer.
So your child is going away to summer camp for the first time. As you say goodbye there's a big lump in your throat, and you wonder more than once "how is she going to have a great first day away from home?" "Is he going to make friends?" "Is this summer camp ready to help my child truly be happy and independent for the next 7 weeks?"
I recently wrote about a counselor training event we call our Parent Forum. We invited a group of camp parents to sit on a panel and discuss with our staff why they chose our camp, and why it is such a good fit for their family. During the event Felicia, a mom from Boston, told a story that really stuck with me. She said that over the winter she took drove her teenage son and his two camp friends to a buddy's bar mitzvah in New York. On the way there, rather than using the trip to text, Snapchat and play Madden Mobile, the three camp friends talked and laughed with each other the entire drive. And the entire drive back. As she told the story she pointed out that as close as he may be with his home friends, when they are on a car ride together each spends the trip fully engrossed in their electronic devices. It's only with his camp friends that he will voluntarily take a break from technology and truly interact.
We are often asked about how we have such kind, caring, intentional counselors. One of the ways that we make this happen is with our rigorous camp counselor training program. Currently, we are deep into our second week of Staff Training, and yesterday was a really powerful day of learning.
As we approach the start of the summer of 2016 it is wonderful to see so many of our campers, counselors, and even alumni getting together. Over the weekend the Hughes, Dank, Finard, Rosenberg and Tanguay girls got together for some good times while on Nantucket.
The start of the summer is just a few weeks away, and there's a ton of excitement up at Camp. We assembled a dream team of chefs, cooks and bakers in our dining hall, and they are busy working every day to create the tastiest and healthiest menu possible in time for your arrival!