Fernwood Cove Values Include GratitudePosted by Alicia Theriault on November 19, 2018
Signs with each of the Fernwood Cove Values hang in The Chick. These eight signs are a daily reminder of the values we strive to embody each day. The values and philosophy of Fernwood Cove are the foundation on which the camp community is built. Camp values are intertwined in almost all aspects of the camp day. Overnight summer camp provides the opportunity for campers and counselors to practice, model, and exemplify camp values for an extended time. Including the values of camp in our lives becomes habit. Soon there after, they simply become a part of who we are. The positive impact of camp and the unique opportunities it provides are things for which we must be thankful. In this, we most certainly know that Fernwood Cove Values include gratitude.
Without overnight camp in Maine we wouldn’t be who we are. Each day every member of the camp community gains a greater understanding of the camp values. Through this immersive learning environment, we all grow and develop into the best versions of ourselves. As we return home we know we have changed throughout our summer days in Maine. Our friends and family recognize these changes as well. Fernwood Cove campers, CITs, staff, and alumni demonstrate the Fernwood Cove Values in their daily lives without recognizing it. When something has a significant impact like we experience at Fernwood Cove how can we not be grateful?
Traditional Camp Values
Throughout the history of overnight summer camp parents have sought many of the same things for their children. Some of those consistencies include the opportunity to disconnect from fast-paced city life and to reconnect with nature. Overnight camp allows us to trim away the excess in life and focus on the basics. In today’s world that often means disconnecting with technology, living in cabins and tents without electricity, and spending our days in camp uniform. The focus on being in the outdoors and learning outdoor activities is common among summer camps throughout Maine and across the country. Summer camps were born in a time when life was much more simple than the life we live today. However, these traditional camp values were as important then as they are today.
Other camp values are based on innate behaviors that existed long before the idea of overnight camp. As with any social species, humans have an innate desire to connect with others and to belong. For over a century summer camps have welcomed campers from across the country and around the world to be a part of their camp community. The nature of camp fosters positive relationships that often lead to lifelong friendships among campers and counselors. In today’s diverse world many camps foster a sense of inclusion and an understanding of mutual respect. Specialty camps foster unique communities built upon given commonalities ranging from sports interests to chronic health concerns. Either way, campers across the country gain a sense of belonging and true connection while at camp.
Fernwood Cove Values at Home
The true success of camp isn’t in the smiling faces on Opening Day. Nor is it in the tear strewn faces on Departure Day. The success of camp is in our ability to empower Fernwood Cove girls to become the best versions of themselves. It is when they leave camp and maintain their Fernwood Cove values at home. At camp you’re a part of a supportive environment. Everyone encourages your growth based on common values and beliefs. Each person is supporting each other as they’re striving to learn and grow themselves. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for life outside of camp. When Fernwood Cove girls are able to stand up to the pressures of everyday life and maintain their camp values we know we have succeeded.
This success comes when former campers decide they want to work at camp so they can empower today’s girls. It also comes when alumni utilize their growth from camp in their college and job applications. Stories from Fernwood Cove alumni about how camp helped them navigate the crazy path of the college entrance process are truly amazing. We couldn’t be happier than when we hear from former staff members that the professional skills they developed while at camp have helped them land their first professional position. When the values of camp truly become a part of each individual the Fernwood Cove Directors are humbled and grateful. There are few jobs in the world that allow you to positively impact society’s younger generations. We are truly grateful to have the opportunity to help today’s Fernwood Cove campers, CITs, and staff become the best versions of themselves.
The Gift of Camp
For many summer camp is a way of life. Something similar to having a vacation house or an annual family vacation. However, when we dig deeper we recognize that overnight camp is truly a gift. It is not something that everyone has the opportunity to be a part of. In a recent interview Fernwood Cove camper/CIT/counselor Katie Doyle spoke about the gift of camp and how we have to continue to utilize this gift to push ourselves to be at our best. For Katie, Fernwood Cove has given her the tools and inspiration to share the magic with others who haven’t experienced the gift of camp. To help them see the world through a different lens and help them become the best version of themselves.
As we head in to the holiday season it’s important for us to remember the gift of camp. We should share this gift with friends and family. And we should take a moment to reflect upon how grateful we are to have been given the gift of camp. This is also an amazing time as parents to share the gift of camp with your children- whether through re-enrolling for the coming summer. Or simply discussing the amazing gift that Fernwood Cove girls enjoy each summer. As we head in to the final weeks of 2018 it’s important to be grateful for the past year. It’s also important to be mindful of the year to come and how we can be grateful for camp each day.
Celebrating Fernwood Cove Values
Summer 2018 was a huge milestone for Fernwood Cove- our 20th Anniversary. The growth of Fernwood Cove has been truly extraordinary during those twenty years. We couldn’t have come as far as we have without the dedication and support of all of our alumni and current camp families. The 20 Year Women’s Weekend reunion at camp in August was an amazing reminder of how camp has impacted generations of girls. As we sat in The Chick for an impromptu Services on the Sunday we were all celebrating the impact of camp on each of us. We were celebrating Fernwood Cove values as well. Attendees and directors spoke of the magic of camp and how very thankful they were to be a part of the Fernwood Cove story. And how extraordinary it is for Fernwood Cove to be a part of their stories as well.
Download this Gratitude Coloring Sheet and take a moment to relax and reflect about the magic of camp. And what think about what you’re grateful for. And then take a moment to consider how you make the most of the gift of camp next year. As we head in to winter in Maine we are already eager to see Fernwood Cove girls returning to camp next summer. As you think about the magic of camp please consider sharing that magic with others. Whether it’s in referring new families to us or supporting the Fernwood Cove Foundation to provide scholarships for girls in need. Each person who joins us for overnight camp in Maine returns to the world better quipped to make the world a better place. And that is something we can all be grateful for.