The last day of summer is fast approaching and while some of you are already well into your early-morning routines, others may still be hounding your kids to finish their summer reading assignments.
When school bells take the place of bugles and uniforms replace crew shirts, it’s easy to push camp to the back of your mind and focus on the here and now. But whether or not you realize it, your campers are more prepared than ever for the new school year, not because of the notebooks in their backpacks, but because of the skills they learned this summer.
Lonehollow’s programming focuses on four core values of Growth, Empowerment, Adventure, and Resilience. Our goal is for campers to build these skills and put them to use not only at camp, but also in their home lives, thus making them geared to live.
Here’s a breakdown of some of the things your campers brought home this year (not including memories and mismatched socks) and how they can continue to reap the rewards of camp all year long.
Every day at Lonehollow campers face and overcome new challenges. As they work hard to earn crew points and qualifications, perfect their Maverick and Closing Day speeches, and receive the Golden Plunger with their cabin mates, they grow and develop their social skills, their leadership skills, and their appreciation and gratitude for the people around them. Each day is a new journey of self-discovery where fears are conquered and confidence is reinforced by success.
Our tried and true example of empowerment is the fact that we allow campers to create and follow their own activity schedules. But Lonehollow also empowers campers by fostering independence. Campers are responsible for packing their own backpacks every night, making their own beds every morning, and following their own activity schedules every day. With help from their counselors, they learn to think through their actions and truly come to understand the thought that goes into making good decisions.
With more than 60 different activities to participate in, Lonehollow takes each camper on a new adventure every 50 minutes. Campers are able to pursue unique interests and dive deeper into new skills by earning qualifications and competing in events on Field Day. In fact, every crew event allows for an adventure (one of them is even called the Adventure Race!) and encourages campers to get out of their comfort zones with the help and supports of their crews.
Arguably the most versatile of our core values, campers build resilience without even realizing they’re doing it! With each challenge they overcome, each new friend they make, and each fear they face, campers take another step on the path to becoming strong and successful adults. It is usually at the end of the session when filling out their Goal Cards that camper realize how much they have accomplished in just two short weeks. They come home courageous and with more self-regard than when they left.
Thanks to the time they spent at Lonehollow, your campers are prepared to take on anything this year has to offer, whether it’s a new teacher or a whole new school.
If first-day jitters are getting to your campers, remind them of all that they achieved this summer. Remind them that they know how to face their fears and overcome challenges, how to get out of their comfort zones and try new things, how to pack their backpacks and make their beds. Remind them that they know how to seek out adventure and how to be the best version of themselves. Remind them that the best way to start a new school year is with a summer mindset.