The Value of Camp: Reaching Our Full PotentialPosted by on April 17, 2017

Twenty-five days or three and a half weeks.  Either way you think of it, it’s difficult to explain the magic of camp.  The Fernwood Cove experience is a unique opportunity.  Thus it has a unique impact on the life of each person in the camp community.  Often the impact of the Fernwood Cove experience isn’t fully realized until after the days of summer have passed.  It’s at that time that we start to understand the value of camp.

This value isn’t something that has monetary value.  Nor is the value of camp measured in times up the climbing wall.  The value of camp is its ability to create positive change in each person’s life.  This change comes through greater understanding of Fernwood Cove values.  The supportive environment of camp encourages us to incorporate camp values into our daily lives.  The Fernwood Cove community experiences incredible personal growth throughout this on-going cycle of challenging ourselves and supporting others as they do the same.

The Extraordinary World

The Fernwood Cove directors work to plant the seed of personal growth for members of the Fernwood Cove community.  This process is very intentional.  Fernwood Cove Owners & Directors, Jim & Beigette, challenge each member of the year-round staff to set yearly goals.  These staff members seek opportunities for continued training and learning through conferences, professional training, and being active in the larger summer camp industry.  When the summer begins, the focus on personal growth moves to the seasonal Fernwood Cove staff.

Framed after Joseph Campbell’s “Hero’s Journey”, Jim outlines the personal growth model we utilize at camp.  Jim identifies the stages of the Hero’s Journey.  Counselors quickly realize they have accepted the “Call to Adventure” and are “Entering the Unknown.”  Counselors understand their role in campers’ journeys of personal growth and development.  They also learn that the “Extraordinary World” is created when:

  1. Individuals enter into their Hero’s Journey by accepting the Call to Adventure and becoming a member of the Fernwood Cove community.
  2. Members of the Fernwood Cove community strive to be the best version of themselves.  Learning from their challenges, successes and failures.
  3. Campers, CITs, and staff empower other members of the camp community. They provide guidance and support, and they celebrate successes.
  4. Each member of the camp community continues to seek new opportunities, and accept new calls to adventure.

The ripple effect of this continuous cycle creates an impact that reaches every member of the Fernwood Cove community.  One of our goals at camp is for campers, CITs, and staff to continue to spread the ripple effect.  This occurs whey they create positive change beyond the Fernwood Cove gates.  Alumni continue to spread these ripples long after their final summer at camp.

Their Full Potential

A recent blog from Maine Summer Camps shows how unique opportunities in Maine create amazing experiences each summer.  Campers return to Fernwood Cove summer after summer, seeking new opportunities for growth.  Our oldest campers become CITs and help create The Extraordinary World for campers.  Fernwood Cove staff come from around the world with the purpose of supporting campers and CITs as they learn and grow.  Often staff leave the summer feeling they have learned as much, if not more, than they taught.  And Fernwood Cove Alumni take the lessons they learned at camp and impact today’s world in a variety of ways.

Many campers, CITs, and staff realize their full potential during their days at camp.  Once they have this realization they begin to understand the value of camp.  However it can be difficult for them explain the value of camp, or how it helps them reach their potential.   The value of camp is found in their ability to recognize learning opportunities that come with failures.  It is in their desire to challenge themselves further.  And in their ability to lead others- or their ability to allow others to lead.  As well as their ability to support others as they continue in their own Hero’s Journey.  Hence the value of Fernwood Cove is difficult to quantify.

The value of camp increases as members of the Fernwood Cove community identify how camp helped them.  And when each person continues their Hero’s Journey, helping to spread the Extraordinary throughout the world.