Summer Camp Skills Are Life SkillsPosted by Alicia DeHart on May 09, 2020
Often when campers think about going to camp they think about friends, fun activities, and memorable adventures away from home. As parents and camp directors, Beigette and Alicia know there’s so much more to the summer camp experience. At Fernwood Cove we are proud to say that our girls learn a variety of skills while they are at camp. Whether it’s the independence of being away from home for the first time. Or the leadership roles our oldest campers and CITs hold within the camp community. All camp skills are life skills.
One of the best parts of camp is that each summer offers the opportunity to learn and grow. Campers experience new activities and trip days. Older campers learn more about teamwork and leadership as they plan camp events. Our CITs grow to understand the importance of being a positive role model. Camp counselors and even the Fernwood Cove directors, are challenged in new ways every day. Problem solving, creative thinking, flexibility, and leadership are skills that transfer to any career in any industry.
Learning Without Knowing It
One of the best parts about camp is that we’re all constantly learning without knowing it. At sleepaway camp skills are taught in encouraging and engaging ways. There aren’t grades or formal assessments. And everyone is supporting you whether you’re a beginner or in the most advanced skill level. In short, learning at camp is fun. And it’s memorable.
Skill development is a large aspect of our various Focus Activities. However, that’s only a small aspect of the learning that’s happening each summer at camp. Living in a bunk teaches communication, acceptance, and respect. Campers gain independence and responsibility by traveling an independent schedule. And through daily practices of recycling and reducing our waste campers are becoming good environmental stewards. Throughout each day camp skills are life skills in the making.
Camp Skills Include Independence And Responsibility
As parents both Beigette and Alicia have seen the amazing impact of summer camp in their own children. Beigette & Jim’s children (Sylvie & Perrin) and Alicia’s daughter (Gabi) all attend their own overnight camp in Maine. While their individual adventures and experiences have been unique they all share a common thread of growth and development each summer. Their camp skills include independence and responsibility in a variety of areas.
Alicia has been amazed at Gabi’s ability to independently navigate her academics this year. This is particularly true since she began at-home learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Sylvie and Perrin have stepped up, taking on more of the household responsibilities as Jim and Beigette have been spending more time focusing on camp operations during the pandemic.
There are a multitude of ways summer camp builds independence and responsibility. Fernwood Cove girls are responsible for their own spaces in their bunks. And they have additional responsibilities in daily clean-up. Each camper has her own schedule and independently navigates her day. On Trip Day each camper makes their own lunch. By the end of their summer in Maine they have developed a multitude of skills they can use at home. Take the time to talk with them about the things they are responsible for at camp. And then as a family brainstorm how they can utilize these skills at home. This week’s MOXIE BINGO card has some great ways to practice independence and responsibility at home.
The Value Of Community And Diversity
One of the most unique aspects of Fernwood Cove is our diversity. Campers come from throughout the United States and around the world. And our counselors and support staff are even more diverse. All in all the Fernwood Cove typically has over fifteen foreign countries represented each summer. The global community of Fernwood Cove introduces us to new and different ways of life. Living alongside people who are different than ourselves helps each of us learn inclusion, acceptance and patience. We also gain an immense respect for the value in our differences. The value of community and diversity found at sleepaway camp is immeasurable as we prepare Fernwood Cove girls for today’s global society.
A large aspect of the Fernwood Cove community is thinking outside ourselves. Relationships are developed through listening and valuing the opinions of others. Green initiatives are developed by campers to benefit the environment. The sharing of space and activity supplies in the bunks and in activities helps build patience and tolerance. Each of these things helps Fernwood Cove girls recognize life isn’t just about themselves. Considering others and how our personal choices impact others is a highly valuable skill. Especially during times like the current pandemic when our personal choices could deeply impact the health and safety of others.
Creating Extraordinary At Home
Camp adventures provide Fernwood Cove campers, CITs, and counselors the opportunity to learn and grow in so many ways. Summer camp introduces campers to new skills like water skiing and rock climbing. It also helps them gain the confidence to perform on stage. We love seeing Fernwood Cove girls grow each summer. And we couldn’t be prouder than when they take their camp skills home and do great things with them. Fernwood Cove girls are always creating extraordinary at home!
Fernwood Cove sisters, Bella and Gigi Samuel are doing just that during the COVID-19 pandemic. The girls are putting their summer camp tie dye skills to great use and have created their own online shop and all proceeds benefit COVID-19 relief. Follow them at @tiedyeforcovid19 to see their amazing tie dye items and help support their efforts to create a positive impact with their camp skills. This is just one example of how camp skills are life skills.
There are so many ways that we can use our camp skills to make a positive impact – at home, in our city or town, or across the country. We challenge our families to find new ways to use camp skills like independence, responsibility, and community. Show us how camp skills are life skills and create the extraordinary!