The Blog of Camps Kenwood and Evergreen

Our camp counselors talk about the importance of free time for kids

Posted by Jason Sebell on Dec 10, 2015 9:18:00 AM

A trend we have spotted at our brother/sister summer camp is that many of our new campers don't quite know what to do with themselves when they have free time. Their lives are so incredibly programmed, and when they have down time at home they know that they can always watch TV, turn on the Playstation, or tune out the world with the latest cool app. This isn't the case in our camp community, as we require our campers to spend their summers unplugged.

RELATED: Research overwhelmingly supports the need for summers unplugged

Over the years we have also learned that when we ask our campers to give something up we have to replace it with another equally compelling idea. This is why we train our camp counselors on how to help our campers learn how to best navigate their free time. 

While our summer camp's activity schedule is fairly structured, each day does have regular periods of free time. Our counselors use those moments to bond with our campers, create a sense of belonging, get to know them better, and help teach them new hard and soft skills. Would you like hear from our counselors about how they help our campers get the most out of their free time? 

Take a look at our innovative Structured Choice schedule

Each week we gather four of our most experienced, talented camp counselors and ask them questions about life at our brother/sister camp in New Hampshire. And then we let the video camera roll. No script, no editing, and we don't even share what the questions are ahead of time. We just have them talk about the intentionality that they use to help our campers have such incredible summers. These are their thoughts on why being a part of our summer camp community is so powerful, and the many intentional ways we help our campers make friends, have fun, and grow.

In this week's episode of Counselor Conversations Courtney, Josh, Sean and Rachael talk about the importance of free time for kids, including:

  • The crucial camper/counselor conversations that take place walking to and from activities
  • How campers pursue their sports and arts passions during the free play hour after dinner
  • Why being open and approachable is a vital trait all of our camp counselors must have

There's also a ridiculously funny Josh and Sean moment that starts around 6:45 in the video. You don't want to miss it!

We hope that you enjoy getting to know Courtney, Josh, Sean and Rachael in this fourth episode of #CounselorConversations. As you can imagine, smart, kind, thoughtful, commited camp staff can make a huge difference in a child's first experience away from home, and these guys are just a small sample of our 200+ talented camp staff.

The video is just over 8 minutes long and should tell you a lot about our brother/sister summer camp. If you retweet it please use the hashtag #counselorconversations. 

Watch How We Train Our Staff

Here are links to previous episodes of Counselor Conversations if you missed them!

Episode 1 - Helping new campers have a great first day!

Episode 2 - Ways we help our campers overcome homesickness!

Episode 3 - The bedtime rituals our camp counselors use to help our children sleep soundly each night

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Topics: free time, counselor conversations, free time for kids, counselor conversations episode 4

Incredible Little Moments At Camp

Posted by Jason Sebell on Jul 22, 2013 3:18:00 AM

You may have noticed that I did not post a blog entry for yesterday. Sadly, after finishing a piece last night around 1:30am my beloved laptop let out a loud gasp (literally, it sounded almost human), splashed an array of colors across the screen, and then ceased to function anymore. My new one arrives tomorrow, and I am currently borrowing Scott's. Thankfully, my most recent time machine backup was earlier in the afternoon, so there was no real loss. It was more of an inconvenience...except for the photos and video that I shot yesterday that I wanted to share with you. I hope when my harddrive is fully transferred tomorrow that I am able to recover some of what I wanted to show you. In the meantime I'll try and highlight some of the incredible little moments of the last 48 hours.

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Topics: rope burning, incredible little moments at camp, incredible moments, little moments, moments at camp, basketball, free time, big weekend

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