Seek the ExtraordinaryPosted by Alicia DeHart on June 19, 2018
Seek The Extraordinary At Camp
A 2015 blog from Dr. Tim Elmore asked if it’s okay to be average. In the blog Dr. Elmore discusses being “average” and how we live in a culture where being “good enough” is okay. Rather than striving to be above average. This is another example of how camp life and everyday society differ greatly. Each morning at Assembly, Fernwood Cove Director Jim encourages campers to seek the extraordinary at camp. The goal is not to be the best at something, rather to be the best version of yourself. The supportive environment of summer camp allows campers and staff to do just that.
In his blog, Dr. Elmore explained what being “average” means in today’s world. His list includes “the average American spends 103% of their income; the average American is 23 pounds overweight; the average student moves back home after college.” (Elmore, Tim; Growing Leaders 2015) When thinking of “average” related to these statements, it is easy to understand why the idea of being “good enough” or “average” could be unsettling.
Extraordinary Personal Growth
Being above average is what we encourage each member of the Fernwood Cove Family to strive for. At camp we aren’t about doing “just enough”, we encourage campers, CITs and staff to expand their horizons by seeking new opportunities. Counselors help campers work to develop and refine skills. Each day brings opportunities for everyone to find their individual, unique talents. Camp is unique in that each person is seeking to be their best, while also supporting others in that same quest. This cyclical approach to learning allows for extraordinary personal growth in a single session.
Another extraordinary aspect is the focus on the whole person. Learning and growing at camp isn’t just about the activities offered. We encourage campers to better themselves in all aspects of camp life. Everything from making their beds, to supporting a friend offers the opportunity for growth and development. This holistic approach inspires each member of the Fernwood Cove community to seek more, do more and be more. The Directors hope that we instill these values in each Fernwood Cove camper and CIT and counselor so that when they return home they continue to want more, and work for more, in their daily lives.
Stay Extraordinary at Home
Each summer when campers return we notice their growth. Sometimes it’s quite obvious, other times it’s in the small details. Often the small details are where the “extraordinary” can be found. It’s in how they welcome new campers. Or when they help someone who is having a tough day. During Services our teen campers often reflect on what camp has taught them over the years. The Directors are genuinely proud when campers mention how they stay extraordinary at home. When campers can carry the lessons learned at camp into their lives outside of camp we know we have made a true impact. That is when we are reminded that Fernwood Cove is not your average summer camp.
As we enter our twentieth summer it’s amazing to think how many lives have been positively impacted in just three and half weeks each summer. Alumni have continued to seek the extraordinary and have achieved amazing things. And while we know that Fernwood Cove certainly cannot take all of the credit for their successes, we are confident that we played a large part. And it is in this mindset that we enter into another summer seeking to positively impact the lives of campers and counselors while we also seek the extraordinary ourselves.
Click here to read this blog post and others from Dr. Tim Elmore