The Benefits of Being Outdoors in Summer 2021Posted by Alicia DeHart on January 28, 2021
We couldn’t be more excited to be planning for summer 2021! We know the coming summer will be different than our past summer camp experiences. However, we are focused on returning to Fernwood Cove for the things we know and love. Often when we think of camp we envision the waterfront, sunsets, campfire by the lake, and bunks nestled among the pines. So many images of summer camp are in an outdoor setting. The benefits of being outdoors, especially during the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, help us provide an extraordinary camp experience. This is why we have chosen for Respect of the Outdoors to be the Fernwood Cove value in 2021.
The natural surroundings at Fernwood Cove welcome us each summer. Whether it is the crystal clear water or the tall pines blowing in the breeze – the comfort that the outdoors creates for us is extraordinary. As we make plans for the coming summer we must ensure we’re also planning to minimize our environmental impact. Reconnecting with this Fernwood Cove Value not only has benefits for us. It also helps to ensure we maintain the natural beauty of Fernwood Cove for many years to come.
Reconnecting With The Outdoors
Summer 2021 will provide many different challenges. It will also provide many unique opportunities. After a year of disconnection and often isolation, the Fernwood Cove community is returning to reconnect in safe and healthy ways. This begins with reconnecting with the outdoors.
Being outside has proven benefits for our mental and physical health. In fact, simply spending 20-30 minutes outside can improve your mental health by reducing stress, boosting your mood, and reducing depression and anxiety. The benefits of being outdoors are vitally important after a year of increased stress, uncertainty, and anxiety for us all. Reconnecting with the outdoors also allows us to disconnect from technology and devices, which has marked benefits for our brains and mental health as well.
Benefits of Being Outdoors During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The positive impact of being outside existed long before 2021. However, the benefits of being outdoors during the COVID-19 pandemic create a unique advantage for summer camps. Research has shown significant decreases in the risk of exposure and transmission of COVID-19 while outdoors. Our ability to easily function outside puts us many steps ahead of other organizations that typically function indoors.
This summer Fernwood Cove campers, CITs, and staff will enjoy our outdoor spaces in new and exciting ways. We will be adding more outdoor picnic tables to be used for Focus Activities and for Bunk Families to gather. The deck at the waterfront will be utilized for more evening programs. And our older campers will enjoy meals from wrap-around porch at the Feeder! These are just a few of the creative solutions we are developing to help ensure the Fernwood Cove community stays healthy this summer.
Continuing Outdoor Traditions
We know there will have to be modifications to different aspects of camp this summer. However we are intentionally asking ourselves “How can we do this?” rather than defaulting to “We can’t do this.” As Fernwood Cove Director, Beigette says, we need to think in possibilities! We are also utilizing valuable knowledge gained from camps that operated successfully last summer. Our goal is for 2021 to be full of Fernwood Cove spirit. This includes continuing outdoor traditions like Trip Days, Campfire, Outdoor Cooking, and Dinner meals outside.
Continuing these traditions, among many others, will help us to ensure summer 2021 is remembered as a COVE summer, not a COVID summer. Fernwood Cove will be alive with the magic of camp again this summer. And focusing on the value “Respect of the Outdoors” will help ensure the beautiful nature of Fernwood Cove thrives into the future.