Announcing Our New Free Play Sports Clinics & Artistic Master Classes!February 27, 2015
In yesterday’s blog I wrote about what is, for most of our campers, the most popular time of each camp day: Free Play. As the name implies, it’s a daily block of time when campers are able to choose just about anything we offer in our program, from team and individual sports to visual and performing arts to hanging out with friends and counselors. It’s an amazing time in each Camp day for having fun, pursuing your passions, and learning to how use free time.
Some of the fun times our campers have during Free Play time after dinner
We believe that it is developmentally important for children to learn the skills of healthy risk taking and making good choices. It’s why our innovative daily schedule – which we call “Structured Choice” – allows campers to choose from 2-4 activities during each period of the day. Our summer camp in NH is about pursuing your passions, but also trying activities that might be a bit outside of your comfort zone. We offer more than 30 different activities each week, and we want our campers to have well-rounded summers!
On tours or in home visits I am often asked the question “but what happens if my child falls in love with [fill in the blank here with basketball, film making, rock climbing or one of our other great choices] and wants to spend even more time practicing and skill building?” One answer that I give is that because of our innovative Structured Choice schedule, and the fact that campers are able to choose each hour from a myriad of choices, campers have lots of opportunities to pick their favorite activities throughout the week. I also explain that since every one of our specialist, coaches and teachers is required to be at their activity area each night after dinner, that campers may spend more than an hour each night of Free Play pursuing their favorite sports and arts (or, as I highlighted yesterday, just hanging out with their friends and favorite counselors).
As a summer camp community we are always looking for new ways to evolve and grow. The Camp Office has been working on a new idea this winter and we are pleased to formally announce it. This summer, every weeknight after dinner there will be two special events that take place. Campers will have the opportunity to participate in an in-depth sports clinic or artistic master class. All of our activities will be represented: baseball/softball, basketball, soccer, lacrosse, tennis, hockey, volleyball, archery, rock climbing, gymnastics, dance, arts and crafts, film making, ceramics, furniture building, digital photography, comic book design, rock band, and theater/improv. Whatever passion a child develops this summer, he or she will have additional, focused time with our incredible coaches and teachers to work on discrete skills and projects!
At the start of each week we will post in each lodge living room and bunk area the list of what is being offered. Because our clinics and master classes will be taking place during Free Play, campers will be entirely free to choose, or not choose, to participate in these new events. It’s just as valuable and developmentally important to balance out your Camp day with socializing with friends, reading a good book, or playing a spirited game of roofball. And on the days where a specialist isn’t running a master class or clinic they will still be asked to be at their activity area so that children can finish painting a sculpture in ceramics or get some practice on the tennis courts.
So we are curious what our parents and campers think about this new idea. Do you have any ideas on how we could best use this time? Here are some of the ideas we’ve generated already:
So what other ideas do YOU have? What else could we be offering during these special Free Play events that would add more excitement, wonder and skill building to our camp’s program? We’d really love to read your thoughts in the comment section below!