Departing the Extraordinary World As the Best Version Of OurselvesPosted by Alicia Theriault on August 23, 2017
Twenty-five days of camp. Twenty-five days. It’s hard to imagine such a short amount of time having an incredible impact upon anyone. However in just twenty-five days each individual in the Fernwood Cove community is changed for the better. Each day is focused on helping each camper, CIT, and staff member to grow and improve. Each of the twenty-five days of camp is an opportunity to integrate Fernwood Cove values into our lives. An opportunity to learn new skills that we will use at camp and at home. At the completion of the twenty-five days we have a better understanding of ourselves and the greater community. We re-enter our lives outside of camp more capable to face daily challenges. We depart the Extraordinary World as the best version of ourselves.
Becoming the Best Version of Ourselves
One of the founding values of Fernwood Cove is simple living. The lack of electricity and electronic devices provides more time for campers, CITs, and staff to focus on what truly matters. Without the distraction of personal electronics and outside media each individual at camp is able to create better connections. These connections allow campers and CITs to create lifelong friendships. Staff are able to facilitate these friendships within the bunks and throughout activities. Staff are also able create connections with campers as mentors and role models. Finally, the camp administration is able to connect with Fernwood Cove counselors to support them as they work to foster connections among campers, CITs, and fellow staff members.
Without the distractions of the outside world campers and CITs are able to connect with their inner selves. Supported by camp staff, Fernwood Cove girls are able to push themselves outside of their comfort zones. This is where they are able to learn new skills and build self-confidence. During all aspects of the camp day campers and CITs have the opportunity to develop twenty-first century skills like communication and collaboration. Whether it’s through working together during clean-up. Or through supporting fellow campers as they traverse the climbing wall. Fernwood Cove girls practice skills they will carry with them for years to come.
As they learn these important life skills they are also able to explore new activities and further develop their hard skills. Through successes in water skiing and archery and on stage campers develop confidence in their abilities in a variety of areas. While helping campers develop new skills Fernwood Cove staff improve their personal and professional skills as well. The camp day is full of various members of the camp community becoming the best version of ourselves.
Remaining the Best Version of Ourselves
While at camp it is easy for campers, CITs, and staff to focus on being the best versions of themselves. Director Jim begins each day with a positive message that reminds each member of the camp community to focus on the extraordinary. Being supported by various members of the camp community each person grows in ways unimaginable. When camp comes to an end each member of the camp community returns home to their family and friends. Our goal is that they return home with the skills they have honed while at camp. When campers, CITs, and staff return home as the best versions of themselves we know camp has had a positive impact on them.
Often parents comment on how their daughters have grown while at camp. They come home more responsible. Campers and CITs return home with strong and positive friendships. All members of the Fernwood Cove community return home knowing they can face life’s challenges with confidence. One of the greatest challenges is not letting distractions like electronics and media get in the way of continuing to develop the skills learned at camp. Remaining the best versions of ourselves as we return to school and work can be extremely difficult. This is when campers, CITs, and staff must reflect on their camp experience. And they must remember what it feels like to be the best versions of themselves. While this “feeling” is something that we most often feel while at camp, it can be something we feel every day. No matter where we are.
Remaining the best versions of ourselves may be one of our greatest challenges when we return home. However if camp teaches us anything, it is that we can face life’s challenges. And face them with a passion to succeed. Camp teaches each Fernwood Cove girl the skills she needs to be inclusive, to work well with others, and to seek new opportunities for growth. Fernwood Cove teaches girls what it means to be the best that they can be. What it means to be extraordinary. As long as we each remind ourselves of who we are at camp we can remain extraordinary no matter where life’s path may take us.