The Huffington Post Says We Create Very Happy CampersJuly 10, 2014
Our summer camp in NH is recognized for producing some very happy campers!
We were very excited to see our summer camp in NH mentioned in an article in today’s Huffington Post – and that it employed a title very similar to most of our blog posts this summer. Stephen Gray Wallace, Director at the Center for Adolescent Research and Education, outlined some of the key 21st century skills that children learn at summer camp, including:
1. Team Building
2. Academic Enrichment
3. Workforce Development
4. Environmental Stewardship
5. Health and Wellness
The camps that he sited as outliers in teaching these vital skills were Kenwood and Evergreen, and Everwood Day Camp (our sister day camp in Massachusetts).
“These concepts form the basis of the learning model at Camps Kenwood & Evergreen in New Hampshire and Everwood Day Camp in Massachusetts. Founder Scott Brody says, “Children are born with innate drives to help others, make social connections, solve problems and acquire knowledge. Our job is to nurture those characteristics by intentionally communicating to campers our belief in their capacity to grow as human beings.”
We invite you to click on the link below and read his entire article.
So how did we nurture those 5 skills today in our campers?
Our Evergreen 1st year seniors departed just after breakfast on their climb up Mt. Washington. Over the next three days they will collaborate on all aspects of the trip. They will take turns planning and cooking meals. They will protect the beauty of the mountain by carrying out everything that they use on the hike, including their garbage. They will provide support to each other when energy gets low, or when a friend needs a boost of emotional support to keep on going.
The 1st year senior boys came back a day early from their Mt. Washington expedition because of concerns about bad weather in the area. While they did not have the fun of reaching the summit, they did learn valuable lessons about risk assessment, critical thinking, and adapting to changing situations and conditions. Adventures have many variables, and we are proud of our boys for what they accomplished on their trip.
Evergreen’s 11’s soccer team traveled to another camp today and gave an impressive showing on the field. In speaking with the girls this afternoon I heard all about the many ways that they came together as a team, how they followed the lessons of their coach, and how proud they were of their 2nd place finish. Bravo, girls!
We were also proud of our K 12’s baseball and 14’s basketball teams. Both groups had been practicing almost daily since they arrived at Camp this summer, and according to their coaches they really learned how to work together. Unfortunately, the baseball tournament was single-elimination, so their loss today knocked them out of future games. The 14’s basketball team had a really good day on the court, and were excited to come how with a strong second-place showing. Great work by both teams!
Growth and skill development wasn’t just happening outside of Camp today. In arts and crafts I watched a group of senior girls learn about the chemical process involved in exposing emulsion to light, and how it can make positive images for silk screening their own t-shirt designs. Learning how to take an idea and turn it into a tangible, wearable item is a very powerful experience. I loved hearing the girls ooh and ahh as they saw their designs become a reality.
Throughout the day Kenwood junior campers were in the music building working on their acts for our upcoming music festival. The process of forming a band, and working on coming together to create a unified sound takes patience, resilience, compromise, and the ability to be flexible. Surely these are all traits that every young person will need to be a successful member of the workforce. How great to be developing these skills while plunking out the notes to Guns ‘N Roses’ “Sweet Child ‘o Mine”!
At the ropes course a group of Kenwood Juniors figure out how to go beyond what they had believed to be their own limits. One camper was brave enough to admit to his friends that heights scared him, but that he wanted to get past it. So with support and cheering from those on the group he climbed up a 40-ft tall telephone pole, and while properly harnessed he leapt into the air with a big grin on his face. Everyone present cheered for him and gave him high fives.
What never ceases to amaze me is how our campers experience these moments of profound growth. They laugh and they cheer. They walk to and from activities with their arms around each other, clearly in the process of forming lasting friendships. I love that our summer camp in NH is such a great laboratory for social and emotional growth.