I Love Camp Because…Posted by Alicia DeHart on February 17, 2020
Opportunities for kids during their summer break are everywhere. New programs and activity options are continually introduced and developed. However, there are few opportunities or experiences that impact kids like summer camp. It can be hard for a camper to explain the impact of camp. But if you ask them what they love about camp you’ll likely get a never-ending explanation of activities, friends, events, silly moments, and achievements. Through the telling of camp stories it’s immediately obvious that camp has a deep and long lasting impact on campers, CITs, and counselors. All it takes is the simple question “Why do you love camp?” and you’ll quickly receive an enthusiastic “I love camp because…” response.
Recently we reached out to Fernwood Cove alumni for video messages about why they love camp. The responses varied greatly. However, each person’s passion and enthusiasm for camp and their time there was unwavering. And that’s what I love about camp. I love camp because it creates an ever-expanding community of people who have a consistent connection- Fernwood Cove. No matter when you were at Fernwood Cove or if you were a camper or camp counselor there’s an automatic connection by having a home at 350 Island Pond Road.
I Love Camp Because of the Personal Growth
When I talk about my camp experience as a child I often say that camp made me who I am today. It’s amazing to connect with Fernwood Cove alumni who are now adults and hear similar things from them. Sometimes it takes months or even years for people to understand how camp has impacted them. To hear them speak of camp years later and say “I love camp because of the personal growth I experienced while I was there.” helps us to see how significant the impact of camp is. The personal growth at camp starts with gaining independence while being away from home. The growth then covers all aspects of life.
For campers growth comes through experiencing new activities and making friends with people from across the country. Fernwood Cove CITs experience personal growth through having real leadership responsibilities for the first time. And Fernwood Cove counselors gain a variety of valuable skills as they lead activities. Many past camp counselors are now educators because of their experience working with Fernwood Cove girls! It’s amazing how a summer at camp can impact you and change your path in life.
I Love My Camp Counselors
Another amazing aspect of Fernwood Cove is the people. A community of people all committed to supporting each other is truly extraordinary. Each member of the Fernwood Cove community contributes to the magic of camp each summer. When I think of my own camp experience it’s the camp counselors that I remember most. These individuals were like super heroes to me. Nothing makes me prouder than to know today’s Fernwood Cove counselors are super heroes for today’s campers.
When asked, campers often say “I love my camp counselors because they care about me.” Or you may hear “I love my camp counselors because they taught me how to be myself.” We can often focus on the skill charts in water skiing or sailing or tennis and gymnastics to determine what campers have learned at camp. However, the greatest benefit camp counselors can have on campers and CITs is modeling self worth, self confidence, responsibility, and integrity. Former counselor, Jenny Hudson, recently said she hopes her young daughter will have similar role models that Fernwood Cove girls have each summer. This is a true testament to the impact that Fernwood Cove counselors have on campers and CITs.
I love the Community
The magic of camp extends beyond one group of people at camp during one summer. One of the greatest parts of the Fernwood Cove is the community that’s created through a common shared experience and place. Camper alumna and current camp counselor, Alex Rubenstein recently submitted an “I love camp!” video that featured her and a past bunkmate, Corky Ribakoff. They are both in Copenhagen, Denmark for a semester abroad. Camp friendships stand the test of time and provide comfort and support whether you’re in a bunk or on the other side of the world!
Summer camp connections aren’t limited to bunkmates or even to people who were at camp at the same time as you. Fernwood Cove directors often hear from camp families and alumni who cross paths with other Fernwood Cove people. Whether they are on vacation, starting college, or moving to a new city the Fernwood Cove connection creates immediate bonds. This is the most extraordinary aspect of life at Fernwood Cove. No matter when you were last at camp, being a part of the Fernwood Cove community brings an immediate sense of belonging and connectedness. It’s easy to understand why people say “I love the community that is immediately created when we discuss Fernwood Cove.”