Summer Camp Provides Community Year RoundPosted by Alicia DeHart on March 20, 2020
When we think of summer camp we often think of smiling faces and s’mores. There’s also jumping in mud puddles and learning new activities. And most of all there are the people- the counselors, our bunkmates, our best friends. The connections made between people at camp are like none other. Living and learning alongside fellow campers and camp counselors increase our awareness of ourselves as well as others. And this is where the magic of the camp community is born. We support each other through the adventures, and misadventures, of the summer. It’s magical because summer camp provides community year-round.
It’s easy to recognize the camp community when we’re together in Maine. Through our camp uniforms and understanding of camp traditions, it’s easy to see that we all belong to the Fernwood Cove community. However, the Fernwood Cove community is so much greater than the gathering of campers, counselors, and staff each summer. Our camp community spans over twenty years of people who have called 350 Island Pond Road their home for at least one summer. The people measure in the thousands and are spread around the globe. And while we may not have all met face to face we share a connection through camp. And those connections are most valuable during the celebrations and most difficult moments of life
Summer Camp Friends
One of the greatest benefits from camp is friendships. Summer camp friends see you when you roll out of bed in the morning. And they see you when you’re covered in mud because you went through the mud puddles in Mountain Biking. They share socks with you because your’s are in the laundry. Our camp friends encourage us to try new things. And cheer loudly for us at Performance Night, no matter what. And most importantly, they support us when we struggle. Summer camp friends are some of the best cheerleaders we could ever have.
Fernwood Cove friends remain connected long after their days on Island Pond. They become college roommates. They serve as bridesmaids. They become adulthood friends that support each other through life changes like job changes, becoming parents, and so much more. Summer camp friends are always there for you. Whether it’s in a bunk at camp or in a suburban neighborhood far from Maine- they are always there for you.
The Greater Camp Community
One of the magical aspects of the Fernwood Cove community is the support that it provides as campers and counselors get older. Each year the network of the Fernwood Cove community grows. That growth creates greater resources for camper and staff alumni as they move to new cities, search for jobs, or simply looking to connect in travels and adventures. This is just one example of how summer camp provides community year-round and around the world.
The greater camp community shows it’s extraordinary connections and willingness to help during times of need. A shining moment was following Fernwood Cove Owner/Director Beigette’s cycling accident in 2011. It was amazing to see the camp community step up to help in a multitude of ways. However, catastrophic or life-changing times are not the only times the Fernwood Cove community has stepped up to help. Whether it’s through referring camp to potential camp families or helping with staff recruitment the camp community is always willing to help. Often we hear from alumni who tell us how their camp friends or Fernwood Cove alumni living nearby have helped them through life’s difficult moments.
Summer Camp Provides Community For You
As I am writing this blog the world is experiencing unprecedented times. There’s a tremendous amount of uncertainty for each of us. Social distancing is a new concept, but one that is needed, if not mandated, for us right now. Schools are closed and many adults are joining me as a work-from-home parent and now educator. As we are encouraged to isolate ourselves don’t forget to maintain your connections. Especially your summer camp connections. Technology can be hugely beneficial for this, but it’s not the only way to connect.
Now is the perfect time to connect with the Fernwood Cove community. Whether it’s writing letters or sending cards to bunkmates. Or even a group video chat reunion with campers in your area or age group. Now is the time to connect with your camp people. And don’t forget the importance of connecting with Fernwood Cove. In the coming days and weeks (and months) we will be posting regular updates from camp. Recent posts have featured Owner/Director Jim highlighting various aspects of camp. Future posts will feature other camp directors and friends. There are so many ways that summer camp provides a community for you.