In addition to practicing a swing and perfecting the butterfly, the intangible lessons of camp know no bounds. In fact, it’s these more abstract takeaways that make the biggest impact on our campers. When we talk to families about camp in their living rooms, when we walk touring families around our grounds, we tend to focus on schedules and special programs; the most important thing about camp, though, is its people, the community, and the gifts we take from it.
We often say that camp teaches you to be the best version of yourself, but that doesn’t always come easily. Nothing great does! It takes work to practice living away from your parents! It takes work to live with people from different neighborhoods or even countries who might have different views! It’s not easy to have face-to-face conversations instead of sending a text or email in camp’s tech-free zone!
So, what will your child get out of camp? We hope team-sport skills are perfected and outdoor cooking is given a real chance, but it’s so much bigger that. Your child will come home more confident for having stood up for a friend, happier for having spontaneously burst into song and cheer during dinner, more comfortable in his skin for having navigated both big and small tasks independently. Oh, and he’ll have a group of friends and community for life that are sacred, that are all his own, that he can always come back to and rely upon.
Camp takes a sense of adventure and grit and stick-to-it-ness and empathy and goofiness and a zest for life that we all wish for our kids! Those are the true gifts of camp, and what gifts could be more important?